Maybe your coworker has been raving about all the cute prospects, you're hoping to swipe right on Channing Tatum or Cara Delevigne (both known Raya users), or you're just bored with Bumble and want to see what all the hype is about. Whatever you're reasoning for wanting to join Raya, the one thing to know is that it's called "Illuminati Tinder" for a reason — and your road to acceptance may not be easy. That said, there is one shortcut to be aware of: the friend pass. So, does a friend pass help you get onto Raya? Yes and no.
First, it's important to reiterate just how challenging it can be to get accepted onto Raya, in part because there's no clear-cut formula to follow in order to win the favor of the committee members involved in the selection process. Reports have suggested that having an interesting career — specifically in a creative field — may help your odds, as can having a strong social media following. However, one simple fact remains: only about 8% of applicants are accepted. I mean, if Hannah Brown can't get greenlit, what hope is there for the rest of us?
That's where the friend pass comes in. The application process already entails providing a referral from an existing member, and according to The New York Times, knowing more current members may help to get you noticed in the application process. Starting in 2018, Raya introduced "friend passes" — a feature that the The New York Times noted "allows members to get one friend fast-tracked for admission." (Elite Daily reached out to Raya for comment on what this means, and did not hear back in time for publication.)
Since then, friend passes have become something of a hot commodity. In fact, hopeful members have even offered money in exchange for one. Raya is notorious for having a super long waiting list — as of 2019, there were 100,000 people waiting to get into the community — and some Reddit users indicate that you probably won't be able to skip the line, even with a friend pass.
One Redditor explained that a friend pass "doesn’t guarantee you get on the app," and that only 1/3 of the friends they gave passes to were approved. Another commenter revealed that they know some users who still haven't been accepted with several friend passes, and they also know users who got onto Raya with just one friend pass.
According to one user, the people they know who got onto Raya received their friend passes from someone famous or semi-famous, suggesting that it may matter who you get your passes from.
"[A] friend pass gets you on the waitlist, but then you can request for contacts you have who are on it to sort of vouch for/approve you, in addition to the friend pass," explained another Redditor. "I think the number of other current members who will do that is more important than whose friend pass it is. A member gave me and another person each a pass, I got approved and he didn't. I am not cute or famous... I think I got in just cause I asked like five people to vouch for me when applying."
Regardless of whether or not you can snag a friend pass, keep in mind that there are other things you can showcase in order to impress Raya's committee. On its website, Raya indicates that the best way to get their attention is demonstrating that you share a common bond with the community, and being an expert in something or known for something specific. They also look for that “hard to describe 'something extra'" — a "special quality" that could "make the Raya conversation more interesting." So, it seems that some unique skill or talent could make you stand out.
The bottom line? A friend pass may not be your golden ticket into this highly exclusive dating app, but it definitely can't hurt — particularly, it seems if you have more than one of them or they're from high-profile members. And if you still don't get accepted with that coveted friend pass, hold your head up high and rest assured that you're in good company: Even Demi Lovato was rejected by Raya.