Migrationwatch calls for firmer action on sham marriages.


May 09, 2011

From Monday 9 May, the government is being obliged by the courts to abandon its requirement that a marriage or civil partnership involving a partner subject to immigration control must have the prior permission of the Home Office (a “Certificate of Approval”).

Migrationwatch therefore called today for Registrars to be given a new power to delay suspicious marriages for up to three months to allow time for them to be investigated. This, of itself, would be a deterrent to bogus applicants (See Briefing Paper No 8.53).

They also suggested tougher checks when those with marriage certificates applied for Leave to Remain – the second stage of the process. The Immigration Rules require that the couple intend to live together permanently as man and wife without recourse to public funds. In cases of sham marriages this would clearly not be the case.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch, said “Sham marriages are a huge cost to the tax payer as they admit the bogus partner to the full panoply of welfare benefits, including housing. The courts have given full weight to the human rights of applicants but none to those of the tax payer. Tougher measures, proof against further appeals, are now needed to deal with the situation that has resulted.



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