Where and how do I buy credits?
To pay online with a credit card (we accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover), log in to your profile and go to Membership (your profile must be active for you to be able to pay). Alternatively, you can pay using this secure form (in this case, the payment may take up to 24 hours to go through). Other payment options are listed here.
What is your pricing structure?
The price of a credit depends on the amount you buy:
100 credits or more: $1 per credit
55-99 credits: $1.09 per credit
20-54 credits: $2 per credit
Do you offer any discounts?
After opening 15 paid messages from a lady, you can request to have the price of her letters lowered to 5 credits. You are also entitled to this reduction if you have requested the lady's contact information using the expedite service. In case the lady's contact information does not include an email address, the price can be further reduced to 1 credit per letter; however, translation is not provided at this price. If you want to keep using our translation services, the price will have to stay at 5 credits per letter.
What will I see on my credit card statement??
It will show as "1st International”, possibly with a phone number and/or some abbreviations, for example, "1st Int'l NTW" or "1ST INTERNATIONAL 800-974-6453".
What is a friend list?
Adding someone to their friend list may mean different things to different people, from showing their favor to attempting to appear popular. You cannot appear on somebody’s friend list if they are not on yours, and vice versa. To add someone to your friend list, go to their profile and select “Friend Member” on the menu. If they accept your offer, you will appear on each other’s friend lists. You can delete people from your friend list from the Communicator.
What is trust level?
The trust level is a credibility rating given to a female profile by our staff. A staff member can rate a profile on one or more of multiple scales: passport scans, live meeting, phone conversation, video, correspondence. Some are rated according to the staff member's own judgement (such as passport scans or phone calls), and others (like correspondence or meetings) according to the feedback we receive from our male members. Combined, these ratings make up the trust level. Each category carries different weight (e.g., feedback on a meeting is more important than the passport scan); the exact formula is complex and classified, so it cannot be used to artificially raise the trust level. A trust level of 100% means that we have received definitive proof that the woman behind the profile is a real person, and all her communications originate from herself. This doesn't mean, of course, that anyone with less than 100% is automatically fake or dishonest, although you should be wary of profiles with a trust level of 40% or less. Note that the absence of a trust level is not the same as a low trust level. A female profile doesn't have a trust level by default and may never get one, unless it gives us a reason to rate it.
How do I make my pictures private or view other people’s private pictures?
To make a picture private, check the box labelled “private photo” after uploading it and save the changes. To view someone else’s private pictures, you need to request access from them by clicking the “Submit request” button in the picture browser in their profile. You can keep track of the people who have granted you access to their private photos in the Communicator; access to your own private photos is likewise granted from there.
Why is your phone number not working?
You cannot use the US toll-free numbers if you are outside the continental US (this may or may not include Canada, Puerto Rico and Hawaii). If that's the case, please use our regular (toll) numbers or contact us via live chat 24 hours a day.
Why haven’t I received a response to my email?
We try to answer all emails within 24 hours. If you aren’t getting a response for more than 24 hours, please check your spam folder to make sure our reply wasn’t caught by your spam filter. If you cannot find it, please contact us by phone or in the chat to make sure we got your letter.
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The Next Step. Travelling to Russia
Is Russia a safe country?
As safe as the United States or any European country, as long as you are not careless and stick to basic security rules. It would be ideal to have a reliable local guide at your side who would show you around (for instance, the woman you are meeting).
Can I bring my laptop with me?
Legally, you can. However, you should check the acceptable voltage that is usually printed on the laptop’s charger (standard voltage in Europe is 220 volts, not 110 volts like in the USA). You will also need to purchase an adaptor, because the Russian electrical outlet has 2 round sockets, while the American plug has 2 flat prongs. For electronics other than a laptop you will also need a step-down transformer.
Will my cell phone work in Russia?
Only if it uses the GSM standard. The most widely used frequency in Russia is GSM 1800, so consult your phone manual or call your provider to find out what frequencies your cell phone can operate on. Expect high roaming charges, especially if you are an American (European providers may offer calling plans that cover Russia). You will also incur international long distance charges when calling a Russian number in Russia from a US cell phone. A way around this is to buy a SIM card in Russia and insert it into your phone. Some providers lock their phones to prevent their customers from doing just that, so you may have to have it unlocked first (search “unlock phone” on Google).
Russian cell phone providers offer prepaid services only. Local calls cost 5 to 15 cents a minute, long distance calls are 15-80 cents a minute. International calls can be as expensive as $3 per minute. Calls made from 9 PM to 6 AM are about twice cheaper than daytime calls. You can prepay any amount at a wireless store or bank, or a terminal in many stores.
How do I get an Internet connection in Russia?
Expensive hotels in large cities usually have a Wi-Fi connection. You can also go to an Internet café, almost every city of the former USSR has those. Going online from your own laptop may be less convenient, since you’d have to use a local provider (it would be best to find one on the Internet before your trip). As a rule, they don’t accept credit cards, so you’d have to prepay your Internet access in cash. The rate is normally $0.50 to $1 per hour. Another way is to go to an Internet café and ask the staff to connect your laptop to the Internet.
How do I call Russia and other CIS countries?
Usually, you need to dial 011 if you are in the US; next the country code, then the area code and phone number. The country code is 7 for Russia, 380 for Ukraine, 375 for Belarus . If you dial directly from your phone without using a calling card or signing up for a special international call discount program with your long distance provider, the rate may be very high ($2 per minute or even higher).
Remember, if you get stuck, you can always call our bilingual operator toll-free 1-866-974-6453 and have her dial the number for you. She will stay online and interpret your conversation if necessary.
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Visas and Immigration
What is the procedure for getting a visa to Russia?
To apply for a visa to Russia, you will need an invitation. We can fax you one, provided that your passport will be valid for at least six months since the final day of your stay. The invitation, along with your passport, 2 passport-sized photos and the processing fee, is to be mailed to the Russian consulate with jurisdiction over your region. The processing normally takes about two weeks, although it can be completed on the same day the application is submitted, for an extra charge. Take the mailing time into account; if you use express delivery and include a prepaid waybill, they can send you the paperwork back on the same day. If you are in New York, San Francisco or Seattle, you can go to the respective consulate in person and get the visa on the same day for around $300. The processing time is similar for a Ukrainian visa. Note that Ukraine has a visa-free regime with many countries.
How long does it take for a Russian woman to get a US visa?
Two weeks from the day she files her application, if there are no complications. US consulates don’t offer any kind of expedited service, so the waiting times are the same for everybody.
How do I go about bringing a Russian woman to the United States?
You’ll need to have met her in person, because otherwise she would have to apply for a tourist or guest visa to the US that are very difficult to get. If you have proof of having met the lady (pictures of you together, tickets, etc.), you can apply for a K (fiancée) visa for her, which is a much better option. For that, you’ll need to file a petition known as form I-129F with the USCIS office that has jurisdiction over your state. It will take about 6 months for the USCIS to approve it, and the current fee is $455. There shouldn’t be any complications, as long as the paperwork is in order, the lady doesn’t have a criminal record, and neither of you has violated any immigration law provisions or applied for a K visa in the past. Then you mail the approved petition to the lady, who takes it to a US consulate in her country and applies for the visa. The USCIS fee, postage and visa processing fee combined will set you back around $650.
You will probably have to pay for her plane ticket. A one-way ticket will cost $600 to $900; if you decide to accompany the lady, the airfare can amount to $1000 - $1800, depending on the season and how early in advance you order the tickets.
A K visa allows a stay of 90 days. If the lady hasn’t married you by then, she will have to leave the country, and you may be obligated to pay for her return ticket. If you do get married, you will need to apply for a permanent resident status for her. This is going to cost about $1000 in fees and required medical tests, if you fill out the forms by yourself.
Alternatively, you could marry the lady in her home country. This way you won’t have to bother about visas, but she will have to wait for her permanent residency papers in her home country, and not in the US with you. This may take up to 6 months.
All of the above applies to US citizens only, but other Western contries have similar immigration laws, so it should give you some idea of what to expect.
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