How much does it cost to marry a Filipina? Probably a little more than you expected…

By Doug •  9 min read

So you’re thinking about doing the international marriage thing. That’s great! That’s exactly the same path I took in life, and I don’t regret it for a second. However, it’s very important to know that it’s likely to cost you more in time and money than it would for a traditional marriage to a woman in your own country. For example, how much does it cost to marry a Filipina? Here’s a quick breakdown:

Like I do for all of my detailed analysis here on, I’m going to dive into each of these points in greater detail in a moment.

However, before proceeding any further, I feel it’s necessary to drive home this point : marrying a Filipina is not a simple process, and it may end up being that the cost is the least of your problems. I’ve already written about what to expect when marrying a Filipina, so you might want to check that out first before digging your heels in too deep into this one.

A detailed breakdown of the total cost in time in money to marry a woman from the Philippines

For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to assume that you’re a guy living in Australia, the United States, or Europe (and that you already know the reasons why Filipinas marry foreigners). This cost analysis applies to men pretty much living anywhere in the world, but my web traffic analytics leads me to believe you’re living in one of those three areas of the world.

Anyway, the plan is this: I’m going to list out all of the areas where you’re going to need to spend money to make this marriage happen. From the initial dating process to the actual marriage itself, there’s a lot to cover. As you’ll see, the cost of marrying a Filipina may be slightly more than you initially thought. Here we go:

The cost of the dating process: $180

Again, I’m assuming you are not living in the Philippines, and you’re trying to find a woman who does live there. In that case, you’re gonna need to sign up for an online dating website such as eHarmony. The average price of online dating websites such as this is about $20 per month.

Depending on how long it takes you to meet someone, this can be either a trivial or massive expense. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to assume that you’ll meet someone amazing within six months.

Oh – and if you’re new to dating in the Philippines, it’s probably a pretty good a idea to know what you can expect when dating a Filipina.

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The cost of meeting her in person: $1800

Assuming that you do not live in the Philippines, you’re going to have to get on an airplane and go and see her. From the United States for example, a round-trip economy class flight to Manila and back averages around $1200. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

But remember – travel expenses are a lot more than just the cost of the airline ticket. You have to factor in things like ground transportation, food, and hotel accommodations. After all, on your first visit, it’s highly unlikely that she’s going to allow you to stay with her at her home.

The cost of keeping in touch with her: $240

Staying in touch during the dating process is the cheapest part about courting a Filipina. Online video editing tools such as Skype and Zoom makes it easy to stay in touch for free, so there will likely be very few things to spend money on in that regard.

However, sending her gifts every now and then would be a pretty good idea. Let’s just say (for the sake of argument) that it’s $20 a month worth of gifts, and the dating process goes on for one year.

high cost of marrying a Filipina

Feeling scared yet? I told you this was going to be expensive!

The cost of taking the relationship to the next level (marriage): $1800

Assuming the dating process goes well (and you’re an expert on picking up the signs that a Filipina likes you), the next step is marriage. For that to happen, you’re likely going to have to get on an airplane again to go and see her. Not just ask for her hand in marriage, but to get approval from her family as well.

The cost of getting married: $2200

Are you regretting asking how much it costs to marry a Filipina yet? Hey nothing in life (at least the good stuff) is free! Anyway, don’t worry – the cost of the marriage itself isn’t going to be all that significant.

This is because the family will cover much of the cost, and the only thing that you’re responsible for is going back to the Philippines to attend the wedding. You may want to bring gifts for the family as well, so it’s going to be a little more expensive than last time.

The cost of living in separate countries as a married couple: $11,000 ($800/mo for 18 months)

Now that you’re married, it’s time to figure out how to actually live together. Let’s assume that she is going to come and live with you in your country.

For the sake of a simple explanation, let’s just say that you live in the US and you’re trying to get a Green Card for her that will allow her to come and live with you. This takes a while, and it’s not uncommon for the entire process to take up to 18 months from beginning to end.

I’ve already written about 3 important things I learned while trying to get a Marriage Green card for my Japanese wife, so I’d suggest reading that as a primer to prepare you for what you’re in for. Long story short: it’s a long drawn out process involving lots of paperwork.

Anyway, just because you’re living in separate countries for the time being doesn’t mean that you won’t have to spend any money. She’s now your wife, and that means that you are obligated to support her. Therefore, you will be sending money to her every month for things like rent, food, etc.

The good thing is that the cost of living in the Philippines is far less than it is in many parts of the western world, so it won’t be a massive expense.

The cost of obtaining a Marriage Green Card: $1700

When we got married, my Japanese wife couldn’t come to live with me here in California until she had her Green Card. I assume most western countries have some sort of similar thing which is required for immigrants coming in to live in that country.

Anyway, marriage makes the process of obtaining a Green Card (or any other formal immigration document) much easier.

And to be honest, when trying to get a Green Card for my Japanese wife, the biggest struggle was time. Not cost. However, there are a handful of fees you have to pay, but the total cost isn’t all that significant.

The cost of her moving in with you: $3000

You did it! After a very long time of doing the online dating and long-distance relationship thing, you’re finally ready to bring your Filipina wife home. And as you might imagine, it isn’t going to be cheap.

Not only will you have to pay for her airline ticket and all travel costs, but she’s likely going to want to bring a lot of stuff with her.

For example, when my wife moved from Japan to California to live with me, we spent a total of about $2000 shipping her personal belongings. And that was the cheap way to do it!

We chose the slowest and cheapest way possible, and it still ended up being a lot of money. Anyway, all I’m saying is that you need to be prepared for one last big expense when it comes to finalizing your marriage to a woman from the Philippines.

The total amount: How much does it cost to marry a Filipina?

You’re kind of sorry that you asked, right? As you saw above, the total cost to marry a Filipina will be anywhere from $15,000-$25,000. Yes, you could probably do it cheaper, but let me just say this:

You don’t want to cut any corners. After all, this is the person you are going to be spending the rest of your life with, and you don’t want to make things difficult right from the beginning. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from being married for over 10 years now, it’s this: happy wife, happy life. Take the time to do things right.

Is the high cost of marrying a Filipina worth it?

It all depends on how much value you put on the cost of happiness. If you’re an extremely frugal person who hates to spend money on anything, you’re likely going to be very frustrated with the process of international marriage.

However, the benefit of marrying your soulmate should be priceless to you, as it’s likely one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make in your life. Spending a few dollars to make sure do it right is important.


My name is Doug, and I'm an ordinary white guy living in the US. 10 years ago I married a Japanese woman that I met online, and it's been an adventure to say the least! I started as a way to share all the lessons I've learned about dating (and ultimately marrying) an Asian woman.

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