Marriage for Convenience

By: Jamie Wallis

People prefer to work here by obtaining work permits or settle down by nationalisation. Obtaining work permits, residency or nationalisation requires the fulfilment of certain criteria. Among the varied criteria specified, one that has given rise to much speculation and probable misuse is the granting of nationality to those who marry a British national. Political reasons and humanitarian considerations allow the willing marital partners to join their respective spouses in the United Kingdom provided they fend for themselves and do not look towards state funds for their existence. But this clause has been rampantly misused and a new segment of people has reportedly started paying to get married!

People Pay to Get Married!

Three people are involved in this simple modus operandi. The first person is one who arranges such marriages, the next person is the fake bride and the third is the fake bridegroom. People desperate to obtain work permits or naturalisation approach them. The fake spouse gets married to the person who wants an entry into the US or the UK. After the marriage they enter the country upon submission of the requisite bank, employment and address details.

Alert Authorities

Authorities are alerted when such marriages take place. The nature of the marriage raises great doubts for they are hastily conducted in the registrar’s office with a few invitees. Normally, marriages are big events conducted in the church amidst a large gathering.

The timing of the marriage, too, invokes suspicion. If the marital partners are residents of the UK for quite some time as students or employees, their marriage creates no doubts. Some who rush to the registrar’s office to get married when their visa is due to expire in a few weeks’ time are reported as suspicious cases. In the year 2001, ‘The Marriage Registrar’ identified 752 cases on grounds of suspicion and since then there has been an upward revision in their reports. 3,578 cases were reported in the year 2004 while just 247 cases were reported in the year 2005 for the February of that year saw the implementation of a new rule. This particular rule stipulated that people whose visas were due to expire in a six-month period can get married only after seeking permission from the Home Secretary. Refusal from that department meant appealing to the High Court. The highly discriminatory nature of this rule saw it being repealed by the Judiciary which recommended that other methods be used to track down fraudsters.

Reported cases of suspiciously married couples were subjected to intense scrutiny. They were visited at odd hours and questioned about affairs that were extremely personal. This approach, though offensive in nature, tracked down couples who had faked their marriages.

The United Kingdom does not stand isolated in this problem that is assuming huge magnitude. In the United States of America, 400,000 people apply for a visa for their spouse. As expected all the applications do not pass the test of genuineness.

Divorce and Deportation

USA grants the married alien partner conditional residential status. And at the end of a two year tenure is granted the full permanent residence, subject to successful completion of due formalities. But quite frequently authorities come across cases where the immigrant partner has developed relationship outside the marriage. Marriages as these turn pending divorce cases and the alien partner ends up with a conditional permanent residence which expires after the divorce, leading to deportation. However, the law is extremely sympathetic to such immigrants and allows them to claim waivers on the grounds of domestic violence or claims of extreme hardship if deported back to the native land. The law of course accepts only proof.

People from many parts of the globe, in their desperation to settle down in the USA or the UK are getting married, in a bid to manipulate law to suit their convenience. Police have come across a case where a girl reportedly married six men in a span of five years. Conducting fake marriages and securing entry to non-eligible immigrants is a complex problem difficult to unearth. People found cheating, must be punished to prevent further such occurrences.

Dating and Romance
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Dating and Romance