The UK Government to target sham marriages and civil partnerships as a route to Settlement
The new provisions of the Immigration Act 2014 which will come into force from 2nd March 2015 will increase the marriage and civil partnership notice period from 15 days to 28 days in England and Wales.
The rules relating to submitting a notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership will become a lot stricter than before and if there was a suspicion of the marriage being a sham or illegal, the relevant Registrar will be able to extend the notice period to 70 days. The registrars would also be under an obligation to inform the immigration office and to report any such incident to the Home Office. The Home Office could possibly detain the person involved or remove them if there are strong evidences of sham marriage or civil partnership.
These new provisions will only apply to those who give notice of marriage after 2 March 2015.
According to the Home Office press release:
“By extending the notice period and channeling to the Home Office all proposed marriages and civil partnerships which could bring an immigration benefit, the new system will give us much more time and information to identify and act against sham marriages and civil partnerships before they happen and, where they do go ahead, we will have the evidence we need on file to be able to refuse any subsequent immigration application in terms which will withstand appeal.”
These rules have been put into place in order to curb over stayer immigrants who resort to desperate measures in order to get their British Settlement. It can be presumed that these measures have been put in to curb migration after the present government failed to live up to its promise made in 2010 where David Cameron pledged to cut net migration by tens of thousands.
We shall have to observe if these measures taken by the Government could lead to any litigation under Article 12 of the European Convention which gives a person the right to marry.