Tighter rules to prevent sham marriages

03 Dec

New powers will come into effect from 2nd March 2015, as part of the Immigration Act, to enable the Home Office to tackle sham marriages and will see the notice period in England and Wales for marriage and civil partnership extended from 15 days to 28 days.

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New powers will come into effect from 2nd March 2015, as part of the Immigration Act, to enable the Home Office to tackle sham marriages and will see the notice period in England and Wales for marriage and civil partnership extended from 15 days to 28 days.
 
From that date couples intending either to marry or to enter a civil partnership with a non-EEA national with limited or no immigration status in the UK are to be referred by registrars to the Home Office.
 
The purpose of this extension is to give more time to the Home Office to identify and investigate suspected sham unions and take effective action against them. For couples who are referred under the scheme, the Home Office will have the power to extend the notice period from 28 days to 70 days where it decides to investigate a sham marriage or civil partnership. It appears that there are teeth to the powers, as couples who fail to co-operate with an investigation under a 70 day notice period will not be able to marry or form a civil partnership on the basis of that notice.
 
The extension of notice applies also to British couples and British/EEA national couples, who will also have to give 28 days’ notice of their intention to marry or form a civil partnership; but they will not be subject to the referral and investigation scheme.

 

 

Zosia Keniston

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