Sham Marriages UK Home Office Could Be Raiding Genuine Weddings

Cracking down on Sham Marriages UK : How Officials are adding more stress on the Bride

For many, marriage is a sacred institution for two partners to dedicate their lives to one another. In 2013, there were 234,464 marriages, a 6.6% increase in the last two years. Despite that Generation Y is marrying later in the life, people from different backgrounds are still marry and this traditional practice is still increasing.

However, some immigrants use marriage as a shortcut to bypass immigration policies. People are marrying to gain citizen rights, often closed off to immigrants. The Home Office along with the Home Affairs Committee are not happy with these activities, which they call “sham marriages.” In an effort to put an end to these weddings, the government officials taking decisive actions to stop what they deem as loopholes in immigration policies.


sham marriage UK Home Office Groom is arrestedThe Right Honorable Keith Vaz, Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, denounced the activities in the following comment, “There is an industry of deceit in the UK which uses sham marriages to circumvent immigration control. Marriage is a precious institution and should not be hijacked to make a mockery of the law or our immigration system.”

Vaz continues, “It is absurd that we willingly accept as valid, marriages where the two parties do not attend the ceremony. This allows an easy ticket into the UK and this proxy marriage loophole must be closed immediately. Without taking these steps the Government will never get a firm grip on a situation which is spiralling out of control.”

The Home Office has mobilized to interfere and stop any weddings which they suspect to be a sham. When they deem the wedding as fake, the Home Office sends border patrols to apprehend the suspects of the wedding and interrogate them. If they believe they have enough evidence to believe that the wedding is truly false, they arrests the suspects.

In an effort to hasten the halt on so­called sham marriages, the Home Office is allowing registration offices to stop and report marriages which they suspect to be sham marriages. Through this given authority, they would be allowed to deny marriages to couples if there is a slight detection of a fake marriage with an intention of providing illegal entry into the country.

There are concerns that these measures are intrusive which will have negative consequences. Colin Yeo, an immigration lawyer of Garden Court Chambers, said that there is a high chance that officials have interrupted genuine marriages. Yeo explains that registration officials would be “too quick to report relationships that are unconventional” or those who do not fit the mold of a normal couple.

The Home Office’s operation to take down false marriages has been pervasive to many marriages. In 2013, from January to October, 7,606 marriages were suspected to be fake. Throughout the entirety of the year, 1,173 marriages were investigated. Out of the marriages investigated, government officials made 664 arrests. However, experts express concern and state that it is very unlikely that more than 40% of investigated marriages would end in an arrest. The concerns match the result of the investigations’ outcomes, since only 90 marriages were found to be offences engaging in fake marriages for the purpose of gaining entry in the UK.

False Home Office Raids!

One incident which was published in the Camden Journal provides an account of a marriage between an Italian and Chinese couple, who were falsely accused of setting up a sham marriage. In November 2013, the border patrol raided the marriage and performed an extensive interrogation process on the members involved in the party. It took 30 minutes for the border patrol to figure out that the marriage was indeed a genuine matrimony.

These investigations have proven to be more of a nuisance to the genuine marriage. Habib Rahman, the chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants told HuffPost UK that the government is not tackling the sham marriage issue in the right manner. The actions performed by government officials are distressing to participants of marriages, since these tough enforcements to intrusive. If these enforcements continue, Habib believes that government officials will hurt community relations.

Although many would like to see an end to the sham marriage trends, the actions performed by the Home Office and its officials are believed to be unwarranted. These enforcements blindly sweep along genuine weddings in their search for sham marriages. Their investigative process is extreme, pervasive, and unfair. In order to deal with the issue at hand, officials will need to strategize and execute less extreme measures that will not harm marriages, which are often perceived as an already stressful event for many.