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Loud Thinker: Let’s Get Married for Business



dreamstime_l_4134123“Let me pay (motivate) you to get marry to me so I can benefit from your passport ‘business'”.

This is a message that I received from someone who was a potential date. The first word I saw was business and I got excited. Here I am thinking he wanted to talk about an actual business venture and then I read the entire message.

Let me give a little background story. I met this guy in July and instantly he was “interested” in me. He told my friends and sister that he wanted something serious with me. Being the picky person that I am, I decided to take my time and get to know this guy. Fast forward to December, after  a lot of thoughts, I decided it was time to give him a chance. Just as I was about to send him a message, I got a notification on whatsapp and the message above appeared on my screen. “No, Sorry.” was my reply to him. He sent another message about it and I shut it down and that was the last time we ever had a conversation.

I am not new to the whole “let’s get married for papers” story; but there are a few reasons why my reply was what it was. The first thought that came to my mind was the story of my family friend. Olivia got married to a family friend to help him out. Everything was going great until Olivia was knocking on 30 and met a guy and marriage talks began. Olivia started pressuring the family friend to end the marriage immediately, because she needed to get married “for real”. Mind you the papers were not yet processed. After months, our family friend could not deal with the pressure anymore and also he could not live with knowing that he was the reason why her marriage was delayed. So he decided to go ahead with the divorce.

The second thought that came to my mind is another story of a friend of mine. Let’s call him Ola. Ola was hoping to get married to his girlfriend for “papers” a long time ago. However, her family wanted the couple to get married for real. He was not ready to get married so one of his friends decided to get married to him. The girlfriend ended up breaking up with him. Ola and his “wife” started liking each other and started dating. After about 6 years of dating, there were blurred lines in their relationship because the girl wanted to get married but Ola did not think a ring was necessary because they were already “married”. Ola was blinded by love that he forgot to file for his papers. I kept advising Ola about it until one day their relationship ended and it was crunch time to get the papers filed before the break-up ends bad. Long story short, the girl was nice enough to let Ola get his papers before she went ahead with the divorce.

So those were the two stories that took over my mind the moment I received that email and it took me about 30 seconds to go through those scenarios before sending my reply. With the first story, I saw myself being Olivia. The thought that I will meet someone and want to make wedding plans but that would have to be put on hold because I got into a business deal does not sit right by me. Who wants to delay their wedding because of a few bucks from the past? Not me!

The second scenario also came to my mind because my friend obviously had feelings for me for a long time (or maybe he just wanted passport business all along and decided to speak his mind). Well let’s pretend he was honest about his feelings. My brain will not know how or where to draw the line between we are dating and we are married for papers. Isn’t one of the rules about business not to mix business with pleasure?

Getting married for papers is very common and people are always on the lookout for someone they can pay for the arrangement. I am guessing it works out for most people but I also know it gets complicated. I believe that it would probably work better if the people that get into the situation are strangers. I say this because strangers are most likely to get together, get it done, follow up on the process and keep it moving. I think it gets complicated when the two parties come from the same circle. And can you picture yourself getting close to filing for the citizenship just for someone to present you with divorce papers? That is what Olivia did to our family friend. When she met her man, the business deal completely went out the window. I wish anyone in this situation the best of luck and a smooth path until the end. Also my advice is that, if this is something you are thinking about, make sure that the person you choose to do this with is credible and knows what the process is and how long it will take. Some people might say yes to the deal because of the money but make sure you understand that it is not just a process that takes one or two years. And also do you know this is also considered marriage fraud?

Okay, bye!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Loud thinker is an extension of a young woman’s conversations with people around her and the thoughts that come with it. She loves to tease people’s minds and sometimes think outside the box. On her spare time she loves to dance, work out and Netflix.


  1. Dee

    January 29, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    My dear.. *sigh * I can relate oooo!!! I met a guy whilst out in naij… It wasn’t even a full moon the dude started some love stories and the confessions… I could smell the desperation and I knew exactly where it was heading.. His burning desire for papers was visible to the blind and audible to the deaf… So because say I want eat beef no mean say I go come call cow brother !!! So for me it’s either it’s true love or Nuin … Can’t deal with marrying for papers Abeg… Seems that’s the reigning thing

    • ATL's finest

      January 31, 2016 at 3:31 am

      @ Dee did u say Reigning? It’s bn reigning even before U existed LOL. Well I guess a lot of legal folks can relate to this story esp when it come to our fellow Nigerians ( whenever U visit back home) LOL.. My friend fell for that mess & when d dude got here, he thought he was smart to play games but oh no hun, my friend is 10x smarter. She withdrew all the petition from the Immigration & now, the dude is left roaming & having issues with the law ( it was more complicated than it seems).

      I can’t judge anyone who’s getting married for papers! Like I always say ‘Just bcuz my parents made it easy for me doesn’t mean others can’t help themselves’. Whatever flows with everyone & works for them.

      My own problem is with those that come into the Country , don’t wanna marry for papers bcuz it’s against their religion yet, they don’t wanna GO back home but instead the are here illegally.. I just can’t deal/comprehend that one.

  2. Weezy

    January 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Yeaa… Shouldn’t your first concern be that it is illegal? Also very razz for someone to text you this. I think this thing is common but frowned upon.

  3. ladyb

    January 29, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    In London most especially so many young ladies get tricked all in the name of marriage after the dude gets his Pali Game over .smh atleast he made it known that was his intention some females ain’t that lucky .

    • ATL's finest

      January 31, 2016 at 3:35 am

      @ LadyB lol it’s crazier down there. I know a dude that got married to another dude just cuz of papers ???. All join jare

  4. Linda

    January 29, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Email??? Whatsapp notification??? Which one sister??

    • Loud Thinker

      January 30, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      I did not even realize I wrote email towards the end. Thanks for pointing it out. Na for whatsapp the conversation happen o!

  5. Mr. Egghead

    January 29, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    There is nothing wrong with getting married for papers, as long as all other conditions remain constant. If the party desirous of getting papers has a good job and a decent head on his/her shoulders, then please look for someone with papers to marry.

    Marriage is a business. Only the naive marry for just love or feelings. Everybody looks to marry someone who will improve a sphere of that person’s life. It is about give-and-take, so both parties can always help each other to grow. Besides, not everybody without papers is an illegal. Some are on work permits, others are students.
    Nigerians in the UK are the worst in this regard, particularly the females. I have seen career women refuse responsible no-drinking no-womanizing men with jobs just because they don’t have papers. They think that little red passport gives them bigger tits than everybody else.

    • U Dey Mind Them

      January 30, 2016 at 12:13 am

      My question to all them paper wielding, kpali-forming, hole picking, fault finding, over sabi, and so on and so forth UK and environs gehs is, how did your mothers and fathers and their own mothers and fathers get their papers. Shebi they all migrated from Africa at one point and had to do the needful to acquire the paper. Did they bring paper from their village enroute UK/Europe. Even if they came as a students, or by other approved means, they had to use the marriage route as an option to tidy up things and in the process gave birth to u, present you with a hassle-free life and you think kpali just fell from heaven unto you because you alone is God’s chosen abi? That was how one ill advised, papercentric girl lost out on a great guy because he was yet to be properly documented only for God to intervene and lift him to a position none of his over-lookers ever hexperred. When they say some of you ladies would see your husband and still not recognize, they mean that while you were expecting Jesus to arrive and show up in horse and glitzy carriage and a retinue of praise singing angels in tow, he came as lowly as a commoner in a dingy manger. Get that. This is not to say there aren’t despicable people who extort and exploit for this same purpose.

    • Babe

      January 30, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Please stop spreading wrong information. Back in our parents’ time it was not as difficult to get papers. There were several options as long as one came prepared to work or even study. Heck, even up until the Conservatives came to power in 2010 there were ways ro get your papers such as work permit, HSMP etc…..Please do your research.

    • Weezy

      January 30, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      While this is true for some people. Not all people did this. Neither of my parents have citizenship abroad. In fact in my social circle growing up, it was the children that had citizenship because they were born abroad then relocated back home a few months later. And many people got theirs by being highly qualified workers. there are thousands of Nigerian S who get their papers through employment or lottery (when it existed), or they married someone they genuinely liked who had the huge bonus of the green card.. I have siblings and friends who suffered in America and are still suffering trying to convert from h1b to green card who still refuse to do an arrangement. I know people who moved back home instead of marrying for papers. It is short term gain for long term sorrow. Do you know how risky it is? What if the person has secret debt and suddenly you become legally responsible in some way? What if he or she begins to blackmail you and refuses to divorce you unless you wire another $20000? What if you later fall in love with an upstanding citizen of integrity who can’t understand why you will break the law.

      I understand that some people may be seriously disadvantaged in Nigeria – no supportive family, useless degree, no job, etc. In which case, do you I guess. But if you have a reputation to protect and assets to lose, better marry because you mean it.

    • Err...

      January 30, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      Petty much? Or just pained?

  6. chi-e-z

    January 29, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    wow he’s got some balls truth be told I’d be all like how mush? hehehe… hey it could turn out 2 be “meant 2 be” like that sandra bullock movie. My story is the opposite I’ve ran away 4rm guys I love cause I didn’t want them 2 think I was usin them 4 paperz. idk bout other places but U.S. laws is really difficult to understand nd way 2 much paperwork. I’m like how in d world did I get here nd what in the world is all these visa laws. I just wish traveling papers, working papers would just all disappear…as if lol

  7. czar

    January 29, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Yoruba Demon

  8. czar

    January 29, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    yoruba Demons

  9. Honeycrown

    January 29, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    This kinda story is sooo Two Thousand and late Abeg! Who is still getting married for papers these days? Those were in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Those were the stories from our “Egbons”, Aunties, Uncles and Parents about their back in the day hustles to stay abroad. Please let us stay in our country or go back to our country if you’re trying to begin the trend of traveling abroad without legal paper crap! It is also illegal like @Weezy said.
    On the other hand, if the person has been stuck abroad for years due to not having “papers”, then that’s another story. But please let’s kill that trend (I didn’t know people still did it). If you get a visa, please use it and return home because all that hanging around for papers isn’t worth it.

    • Luau

      January 29, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      Oh please, think before you write gibberish. Many people still get married strictly for papers due to different conditions they find themselves in. Nigerian citizenship is pure trash so getting an EU or American passport is quite important for certain people especially if you have adjusted to a life abroad. It is not a trend that “we can kill” like that, it is actually a serious issue for some. So instead of ranting like this, how about you live and let live? Since you’re not the one getting married for papers, then leave others to do as they please.

    • Honeycrown

      January 30, 2016 at 1:24 am

      @Luau, I see you’re very pained and I empathize with your condition. I wasn’t stopping you or anyone. How could I? I didn’t know people still did all this “paper” wahala and I was only stating my opinion. Please relax, drop your BP and knock yourself out.

    • The real dee

      January 30, 2016 at 2:59 am

      Do you guys actually realize getting married for papers is ILLEGAL. Ahn, later we’ll say Nigeria has corrupt leaders, the illegal act of getting married for papers is classified under what?

      You’ll get married for papers, you’ll now come and give testimony in church when it clicks that God has answered your prayers. Such hypocrisy. Does God support illegalities? The way some Nigerians consider illegal acts normal just beats me. No wonder we are stereotyped as frauds. Imagine taking a Nigerian certificate/ transcript to an evaluation agency in the US and they would not accept it because it is NIGERIAN, You’d have to send a request to the Nigerian school to forward it directly to them. Meanwhile, if you brought one from another country, it’ll be accepted. Why? Stereotype of Fraud.

      Stop making life difficult for law-abiding responsible Nigerians by committing fraudulent acts.

      Nigerian citizenship is pure trash? Yet, there are some Nigerian citizens living comfortably in Nigeria, enjoying the money they “worked’ (not money earned illegally) for and there are some EU citizens living on the streets in the UK in the harsh winter weather, homeless. Why didn’t their EU citizenship give them automatic homes, jobs and food?

      Marrying for papers is considered a FRAUD and no amount of life stories changes that.

    • Rebel

      March 1, 2016 at 11:37 pm

      When I was in school abroad, a US citizen in my dorm offered me green card marriage. I was still naive that time so I completely ignored it.

  10. Author Unknown

    January 29, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Your third reason should be the appalling grammar. “Let me pay you to get marry to me?” Lol. Marrying to get papers is straight wrong, but I must say it is somewhat honourable of him to have disclosed his intention. Had he received your text first, he could (like many Nigerian men) have strung you along, even had a family with you. In fact, Olivia and Ola will be telling YOUR story and not the other way around when kata kata burst. At the end of the day, people marry for all different reasons. Reasons unknown to the other party in the marriage.

  11. Self-slavery; self-trade; self-selling.

    January 29, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Wow! People do this?!
    And to this level being talked about here? Such a common thing? Like it’s so normal? Like it’s so right?
    Where’s all the talk about how ILLEGAL it is? How IMMORAL it is? How so WRONG it is?

    Marriage, is now just a document, a piece of paper to be traded and sold, to acquire other documents and papers?
    Wow. And everyone talking about it like it is normal, like it’s nothing. No conscience, no shame, no pride, no self-respect.
    Just how low will we keep going? Just how much more can we lose our values?
    Our ancestors were sold for glass beads, gin, bales of colourful, shiny cloth, cowrie shells (imported by the white slavers and which had absolutely no currency/value as money anywhere else in the world but in Africa between the white slave-traders and their African collaborators), rusty muskets and gunpowder.
    Now we ourselves sell and trade ourselves for what? for the same things; only now we call it dollars, cheddar, greenbacks, paper, the abrahams; now, it’s not the slavetrade; now, it’s the hustle”now it’s getting your hustle on, now, it’s ‘business’.
    God help us.

    • Idomagirl

      January 30, 2016 at 2:57 am

      Lol. So dramatic.

    • Debbie

      January 30, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      God bless you. I don’t know whether it’s by force to live abroad. As if being abroad is a ticket to heaven.

    • ATL's finest

      January 31, 2016 at 3:39 am

      Huh????? Ka pa sa???

  12. FasholasLover

    January 30, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Marriage for residency is not new. Illegal yes but it is what it is. The prayer should be that if you decide to do it, your “spouse” should not be a psycho also, you had better be prepared for any “incasity”. So this babe married this guy for papers. Psycho would stroll into her bunk unannounced asking for food. When he wasn’t hungry, he wanted her to loan him some money on top agreed fee o. Of course, he never paid back. On another occasion he walked in unannounced as usual seeing she had bought a new TV, exclaimed, “you buy TV? Another time, it was …you buy new phone? Anytime she acquired a new item, the dude came up with some stupid story. Either his landlord was hounding him or he didn’t have enough money for xyz. She just kept paying. It was just so distressful for her. Then, the idiot started asking for you know what.

  13. Ms Jazz

    January 30, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Marriage “kpali” business. Na waya

  14. bugingo

    January 30, 2016 at 1:30 am

    hello guyz how are you iam bugingo annanie i live in Rwanda iam so single boy so iam so interested to write you because i need a kind of woman who know really to love and who can be patient to my studies iam student at university

  15. Fraya

    January 30, 2016 at 6:47 am

    “Being the picky person that I am, I decided to take my time and get to know this guy.” UGH. Irked me but let me keep reading

    • upside down

      January 30, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      dem no dey tell person na
      no be when u get 5oranges u go dey picky go dey select?
      by the time orange is out of season, u no go travel or go places to go find am? anywhere possible just get it?

      na her season make she dey picky
      dem no dey tell person wen all d guys disappear and no single one again

  16. Xxxx

    January 30, 2016 at 12:08 pm


  17. madamnk

    January 30, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    My friend lost out on a great guy that I introduced her to because her mum insisted that he was after her passport. he lived in nigeria and was doing his nysc while she was in scotland. He was open to either her moving back to be with him or him moving to be with her. Long story short, she dumped brother for that sole reason and now 6 years she’s planning to go to naija to find a husband. The guy is engaged now to someone else and has done quite okay for himself. She was crying when she found out and called him and spoke to him. He still loves her but is going ahead with his won marriage.
    I just wish a lot of people will actually get to know the other party’s intentions. Marrying for papers is never easy and i will never recommend it. My cousin married one Romanian woman in sheffield and paid her £13K and she lived in his flat with her boyfriend and child, rent and bills free for years. with 6 months left for him to get his papers, she filed for divorce and now he’s back to square one.

    • upside down

      January 30, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      no mind dem.

      criticize me for this but it is nothing but the truth. society was much better off when men had upper hand in all aspects. there were little or no problems in the family.

      because some girls have started earning some miserable 150-200k as salary and use one posh car, any guy that comes after them is a gold digger.

      Have you realized the so called independent ladies with good jobs n cars are the ones who aint getting hooked and buying aso ebi every Saturday?The reason being that they see any guy who comes around them as a social climber (as gbemi termed the joro guys and was blasted and told her salary may not even buy their shoe).

      whether fine or wowo, rich or not, as long as you are a lady, men will toast you. when you allow what you have to get into your head, am afraid for you.

      whether you be Queen of England’s daughter, no be man go marry you? what is he wants to marry me cos of papers; cos of my father; cos of my job…….

      OYO u dey so

    • Miss Grammar Check

      January 30, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Please next time type with intelligence.

    • Babe

      January 30, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      LOL, bitter much?? She no gree marry you? 🙂

  18. Debbie

    January 30, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    This write up is a sham!!!! In the US, even in this day and age, the hustle for papers is real. I can’t believe that someone is actually writing on marrying for business. I’m sorry but no. I will not marry anyone for business purposes that is to organize papers for them. I won’t use others and will not allow myself to be used by others!!!! Is it by force to live abroad???? People are making it big time in Nigeria and some people are talking about marrying for business. Hian!!! Hisses

  19. So NOT just a paper.

    January 30, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Marriage is NOT a piece of paper. Marriage is FIRST AND FOREMOST a SPIRITUAL COVENANT.

    Marriage is a spiritual thing; and remains a spiritual thing. Whatever reasons people think they are doing it for. you simply cannot change the purpose and nature of what the Creator of the institution created when He created what He created. You can live in a car, sleep, eat in it, even perform unseemly sexual acts in it, it doesn’t change the fact that the purpose of a car is driving, transportation; neither does your abuse/wrong use of the car at any time cause it to lose it’s actual purpose.

    In marriage, TWO BECOME ONE: this is the spiritual law.

    Marriage is a UNION. Like it or not.

    Therefore, many crucial things are involved. e.g. DESTINIES BECOME ENTWINED.

    All these have effects, be it sooner or later, there is surely an effect. You cannot legislate it away, or wish it away.

    The Creator Who created marriage also stipulated laws with it i.e. conditions by which, and only which, a marriage can be ended:
    when an unbelieving spouse leaves/seeks a divorce.

    GOD was the Creator of marriage. GOD was the very first ever officiating minister, at the very first ever marriage.

    We are too small to seriously imagine that we really can usurp His Purpose.

    • Joke

      February 1, 2016 at 3:11 am

      Biblical marriage, which you are talking about is sexual interaction. Consumation. Which people now do without thinking anyway and suffer the consequences, so what’s the difference? That’s why the world is upside down. Arangee marriage done right doesn’t involve that. It’s just saying “I do” in court, filling forms, paying up, showing up, and lie lie during interviews etc. Even in interviews, they will ask if the marriage was consummated and if it wasn’t, then it is not a marriage. However, human beings will always take advantage of who they can, so arangee turns messy for some when sex or the demand for sex is involved.

  20. aj

    January 31, 2016 at 2:23 am

    I’ve experienced something of this nature and still going through it. I wish i could talk more about it.

    • Eva

      January 31, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      Please do tell, I’ve come across this article at a crucial time.

  21. Sucre

    February 2, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Very soon , someone would come here to read this article and comments then go ahead to write an article for some international news blog/ paper on ” how Nigerians marry for papers” then go ahead and quote Bella Naija as a source ( well that’s if they allow it). Marrying for papers is wrong , I am aware it happens and I’ve seen how much some people struggle waiting for a break and I don’t think its worth it.

  22. Joke

    February 20, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Marriage for papers, whether known or unknown is very real worldwide. 13 million illegals in US alone, not to talk of those trying to marry or do K1 to get in and some are saying it doesn’t happen anymore. No be so. But save urself wahala. If u do arrangee, do it only with a family member or the only way it works for real like someone stated is if two people genuinely love each other. Have 2 Britico sisters. One met her now hubby in 9aija uni. Real love. No paper talk. Dated for years. Relocated to UK, paper talk came up, married and husband got papers thru her. Happily married till today. Other one, was in UK, came on hols met 9aija guy, he relocated with Pali on the brain. They married. 4 kids later man left her in London with the kids and is shinning Congo all over 9aija. Shows up in UK once other twice a year as he feels. Uses her house as closet. The girl had potential, but its over now. Come see as she suffers with 4 kids alone. Can’t get good exec job like she should with all she has to do. Her marriage brought her down. Yoruba things… And I’m Yoruba.

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