Welcome to our review of marriage agency Elenas Models. To review Elenas Models, I’ve done a lot of “prowling” around including checking out legal stuff and foreign country search engine results. So I believe I’ve got the facts straight although they will of course be presented from my perspective.
One thing of importance to note here is that, unlike with our A Foreign Affair review, I did not personally contact Elena’s Models for input to this review. I was able to find what I believe to be the important stuff without having to invest in lengthy long distance phone calls. So what you see here are the results of my experience in monitoring agencies for several years plus a few dozen hours of online research.
To start off, following is a repeat of our Elenas Models summary from our Products And Services Reviews Page.
Our rating for this agency is 4.5 stars.
Why is this agency rated 4.5 stars while A Foreign Affair agency is rated 5 stars? To review Elenas Models has taken a fair amount of effort and we think it’s a solid review and demonstrates why we rated it below A Foreign Affair. But don’t let this less than stellar review deter you - - 4.5 is still a very strong rating by our standards.
Elena’s Models is headquartered in Queensland, Australia. They focus exclusively on introductions to Russian women. In business since 1999, they have very strong connections in Russiaa and all the FSU countries. A particular plus for this company is that the owner, Elena Petrova is a Russian woman who married a Western man. She knows Russia, it’s culture and it’s women.
O.K., to review Elenas Models, here are the details of what I’ve learned.
First, the good stuff: The Women!
And by the way, this woman lives in Kiev - one of my favorite foreign cities.
1. Search Engine: To review Elenas Models, I did a fair amount of pounding on the search engine. Overall I found the Elenas Models search engine to be outstanding. Using it you can search for women using a broad variety of criteria and there were no confusing or conflicting search functions. But while it does provide for searching by country, it does NOT provide for searching by a specific city. But you can get around this by entering the city name in an “open” field toward the bottom of the search screen. That’s fine as long as you spell the city correctly, which can be tricky with some Eastern European city names.
2. The Web Site.
Elenas Models web site is fairly easy to navigate though it is a little cluttered. The women’s profiles are nicely done, very informative and easy to read. To review Elenas Models, I found one negative about the profiles which I’ll discuss later.
Here are some VERY NICE features on the search and profile pages.
On the right side of the search page are listed “new ladies this week”, plus a list of women ONLINE NOW, and a list of the most popular girls.
On each woman’s profile page is revealed how long ago that woman was online, e.g., is she actively looking? Also on her profile page is the percent of time she responds to “expressions of interest.”
I noticed a “feature” with this percent of response counter that you need to be aware of. If you click a woman’s profile when she appears in the “new ladies this week list” her percent of response counter will often be zero or very low. This makes sense, yes? Chances are she’s so new that she has as yet nobody to respond to, or maybe she’s so new she’s still trying to figure out how the site works in order to respond.
So men, don’t let that counter be misleading to you. Give the lady a break. Hold off a little until you see what her actual response percent is. Or better yet, when you see a new woman that interests you, take a chance and jump right in to be first on her list to respond to.
3. Selection Of Women:
A key thing to note in our review Elenas Models report is that this site is dedicated solely to Russian women. This stands to reason since the site owner, Elena Petrova, is a Russian woman.
On the site there is the claim of their having 140,000 online profiles. BUT there is no clarification as to how many of those profiles are women’s profiles versus men’s profiles. So the 140,000 is somewhat misleading.
However, plugging in identical search criteria I found almost as many women in Kiev for Elenas Models as I did using A Foreign Affair’s search engine where city selection is a search option. So I think it’s safe to assume that Elenas Models has a great selection of Russian women available. Go ahead and play around with the two search engines and if you find me in error, let me know and I’ll correct the review(s) accordingly.
But here’s a HUGE plus for Elenas Models selection of Russian women. To review Elenas Models I found that there are quite a few Russian women listed on their site that currently live in the United States.
So if you really want a Russian woman, she may be living just around the corner from you. But you ask “if she lives in America, is she still Russian?” Absolutely! If she was raised in Russian culture, she’s a Russian woman. Period. As I’ve written on this site umpteen times, “you can take a woman out of Russia, but you can’t take Russia out of the woman.” So go ahead and visit Elenas Models web site, select search, then select country = United States.
8-18-11 UPDATE - -
This is a great feature of Elenas Models but it’s kind of a good news/bad news thing. Click the link below to read our 8-18-11 blog post to find out about the potential bad news.
4. Information Resources:
You’ll have to dig around for this but you’ll find a huge amount of very useful information about Russian women, dating Russian women, etc. on the site. I say “dig around” because there’s a lot of testimonial stuff on the site and the FAQ section has a lot of “how wonderful we are.” But on the home page and interspersed on the FAQ page there are lots of very informative articles worth studying. So overall my review of Elenas Models rates their information resources highly.
5. Mail Order Brides:
This is one of our major “rah, rah’s” about Elenas Models. To review Elenas Models, or any international marriage agency, the first thing I look for is if a marriage agency is promoting “mail order brides.” If they do, they’re “outta here.” I have ZERO tolerance for promotion of mail order brides. Elenas Models states very clearly on their home page that they don’t provide mail order brides. No doubt this is because the owner of Elenas Models, Elena Petrova, is a Russian woman. Her homepage statements on the subject confirm the attitude I’ve expressed in my write up at “Mail Order Brides.”
6. Adheres to Legal requirements (IMBRA)
To review Elenas Models I confirmed that their business adheres to all legal requirements necessary for a marriage agency to conduct business in the United States. This is a HUGELY important issue and if you study the Elenas Models FAQ you’ll understand why. Hint - - if you meet your fiancee through a marriage agency that does NOT conform to the U.S. IMBRA law, she may not be granted a fiancee visa to America.
And you WILL be asked if you met your fiancee through a marriage agency. It’s in sections 18 and 19 of form I-129f (fiancee visa application). Check it out at the USCIS site, select forms, scroll down to I-129f and click on “petition for alien fiancee.”
7. Scam Prevention:
To review Elenas Models I naturally checked out their scam prevention. What I found is that they are very proactive in scam prevention. They flat out state on the web site that if any woman asks you for money, report her to Elenas Models home office so they can deal with her (possibly by deleting her profile from the site.)
Another factor to consider for scam protection is that Elena Petrova, the owner of Elenas Models is a Russian woman and knows very well how the scam games are worked. So she’s in a position to understand and react, for YOUR BENEFIT, to the latest and greatest scam techniques.
A word to the wise though. The women portrayed on the Elenas Models site get there by the same process employed by A Foreign Affair. There’s a personal interview with an i.d. verification followed up with a home office verification. There is no independent “background check.”
So keep things in perspective. If Elenas Models did so-called “background checks”, their service would not be affordable for most men. But they, like A Foreign Affair, do follow good business practice to reduce the problem as much as possible. Plus they are more up front about dealing with it from a reporting standpoint.
And always remember, as I’ve written before, a good scammer knows how to “fly under the radar”. I’ve yet to see someone advertising “get your stupid Russian woman here.” Naturally you want a smart woman. And in that smart crowd there are scammers. Learn how to protect yourself.
And now, the NOT so good stuff:
1. Legal Aid For Visas:
I found the visa support portion of the site to be poor. In essence the advice is “get a lawyer.” Bottom line I too recommend that you get a lawyer, but I would have preferred for the site to have offered at least a primer for the uninitiated on the fiancee visa process.
2. Web Presence And Press Recognition:
First, Press Coverage- - My perspective is that an agency that is willing to flaunt its credibility is likely to have a presence in the media. This does NOT imply that no media coverage means no credibility. It simply means that the agency views the media as a “friend.” This is absolutely the case with our other recommended agency, A Foreign Affair..
But it’s not the case with Elenas Models. Their media presence is skimpy, consisting mostly of paid for press releases they’ve issued plus a couple of biographical articles. Even within the Australian press there is silence about Elenas Models.
This could just as well be considered a positive since the press, ever vigilant for bad news, has found no “dirt” to write about in regards to Elenas Models.
So you decide for yourself. Is no press coverage for a 12 year old company good or not?
Now For Internet Presence - - It was easy to find good stuff about A Foreign Affair on the Internet. But it took some digging to find positives about Elenas Models. In fact, there are many negatives written about Elenas Models on “the net.” That’s not really an issue because negatives could just as well be planted by other agencies trying to trash the competition.
What’s disconcerting though is that there is no attempt by Elenas Models to rebut negative comments written about them.
3. U.S. Based Company:
I have stated before that my preference for a marriage agency is that it be based in the United States. This is for the legal protection/recourse of clients in the event of billing or performance disputes. Elenas Models is NOT U.S. based. It is based in Australia. At least it’s under “The King’s Law” from which much of American law originated. But that’s not the same as current American law for client protection.
4. Tours Or Single?
Elenas Models does NOT have a tour capability on its site to “meet women in bulk.” So it’s strictly a one on one deal. While that may be appealing to your romantic notions, it’s not necessarily a practical way to meet a foreign woman for marriage. I believe that meeting women for marriage is somewhat of a numbers game. Sure, “love at first sight” is real and great stuff when it happens, and so is winning the lottery.
For this review Elenas Models report I note that Elenas Models does have a personalized matchmaking service. From their description this service sounds like a full service, customized for you that will connect you with a Russian woman suitable for you. The cost for this service is not disclosed and neither are the criteria for your being selected to use the service. However, suffice, it to say that this is no doubt a “deep pockets” service.
And I have my doubts about matchmaking services, be they personalized or computerized. These services are NEVER any more effective than the abilities of the matchmaker.
The bottom line here is that, from my perspective, personal chemistry seals the deal. So I recommend tours and dealing with multiple women concurrently. After all, if you have something to offer, why not put yourself in the driver’s seat? Read our Marriage Agency Strategy to learn how this works.
5. Marketing Strategy Re: Profiles:
When first visiting the site, you can use the search engine to input criteria and select woman based on your preferences. BUT, though most women’s profiles have additional photos to view, you cannot see expanded photos unless you first register with the site. Personally, I don’t care for this type of marketing strategy.
So this ends our report - - for now. And just as I did, and am still doing with the A Foreign Affair review, I’ll continue to review Elenas Models. As updates occur, I’ll date them and announce them in a blog post.
If you’re looking for a credible marriage agency that deals exclusively with Russian women (including Russian women in America) then I recommend that you check out Elenas Models. They have a great selection of women to choose from and can provide you with as safe a connection experience as any marriage agency. I wish they provided tours, but if you’re the romantic type that prefers one at a time connections, then check out Elenas Models.
So click on one of these women’s pics and you’ll find youself at her profile on Elenas Models.