’90 Day Fiancé’: The TLC Show’s Weird Rules All Couples Must Follow

While you’re enjoying that episode of 90 Day Fiancé, you might want to know that each of the couples accepted onto the wildly popular reality show and any of its spin-offs has to comply with some pretty odd rules.

It is reality television, after all.

The rules are associated with their contracts with TLC, as well as with their K-1 visa application.

'90 Day Fiancé' creator Matt Sharp (left) with cast members
’90 Day Fiancé’ creator Matt Sharp (left) with cast members | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

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’90 Day Fiance’ gains new fans every day

The TLC franchise is a mega-hit with even the most cynical viewers. Many take a peek at the program just to see what all the fuss is about and find that they’ve become rabid fans. There’s something about witnessing virtually complete strangers navigate the visa process, while trying to build a romantic relationship.

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One of the show’s more famous fans, model and television personality Chrissy Teigen, is hooked on the TLC hit, as is her husband, musician John Legend.

She tweeted a question to die-hard fans in 2019, “What’s a good season of 90 day fiancé for a beginner who has no idea what this show is? I’m guessing 1? We’re gonna binge.”

A couple of hours after that tweet, she posted again, this time saying of her husband, “John 10 minutes in: ‘I do….not regret watching this’ “

The tough rules couples have to follow to get on – and stay on – the show

Among the rules couples have to tolerate, according to Screen Rant, in order to stay on the show? Scripted scenes. While many may believe reality shows are made up only of candid moments, the truth is, especially in the case of the TLC program, that producers do encourage scripted scenes to spice things up.

Men’s Health quoted Ashley Martson from season six of the show as having posted on Instagram, “We have been asked to be very deceptive about many things during our run with the show. We have been asked (and agreed for some time) to fake our relationship by not posting anything that makes us appear that we are together.”

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In addition, another rule holds that couples must complete their K-1 visa application process on their own. Also, the show doesn’t offer assistance to the internationally-born individual of the couple in gaining American citizenship. Couples are on their own.

Thorough background checks are also a must that 90 Day Fiancé candidates must submit to. They include an in-depth examination of each potential participant’s criminal background check, any court documents, and requesting statements from the participants’ friends and family. 

Puzzlingly, couples must meet one another two years before filing for the K-1 visa, which puts a damper on all those scenes on the show of couples meeting for the first time. Plus, evidence needs to be provided of the meeting along with the visa filing.

In addition, other rules are that couples have no say in how they are portrayed on the show, and that if a marriage does not take place, the partner born outside of the United States must return to their country of origin.

All those spin-offs

The TLC show’s success has led to even more 90 Day Fiancé programs.

Bringing viewers up to speed on how couples are doing, 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? catches fans up on the dramas it’s known for.

90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days features those individuals who have an existing relationship online, but haven’t met in person.

‘90 Day Fiancé: What Now?’ is a digital spinoff featured on TLC Go with updates of various couples.

90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way follows Americans as they travel around the world, surrendering their own country, to find love.

Finally, The Family Chantel focuses on 90 Day Fiancé favorites Pedro and Chantel and their in-laws.

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