Marriage Of Convenience - another immigration loophole
by Ian R Thorpe
Sham Marriages To Beat Immigration Laws Are Out Of Control
Southampton woman admits she had never met her husband Babar Khan before their snam wedding as the Government is warned that convenience marriages are out of control.
IT IS meant to be one of the happiest days of your life when you step up to the altar and say the ‘I do’s’.
Standing at the altar of your church or even the bench in the civil registrar's office alongside your one true lovem about to say the words that will seal your union 'till death doth part' is supposed to be a very special occasion. A wedding ought to be the official seal on a vdeclaration of love between two people, but more and more people are using them to flout immigration laws according to a report in The Southern Daily Echo on the trial of Ewa Nowak and Babar Khan.
Earlier this week Southampton Crown Court heard how one woman from Hampshire admitted her part in a sham marriage in order to enable a man to stay in this country. Between April 2014 and March 2015, the Home Office carried out more than 2,900 sham marriage operations resulting in over 1,700 arrests and more than 600 removals.
But last year a report by the Home Affairs Select Committee said it was “not convinced that the Home Office has a true understanding of the scale of the problem”.
Our example is a typical case. Ewa Nowak, admitted that she had never met Babar Khan before the fake marriage was arranged and that she had accepted payment for the her pert in the scam.
Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East and a campaigner against illegal immigration said: "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.
"The estimated 10,000 sham marriages appears to be increasing at an alarming rate. One sham marriage can provide UK residence rights to an entire extended family who would otherwise have no right to be here."The role of Registrars is critical. The Home Office should not only provide them with better feedback and training on reporting but also empower them to stop suspicious marriages."
Nowak, 25, and Khan were caught out when registrars noticed that Khan couldn’t spell his bride-to-be’s name correctly and that the pair were disinterested in the details about their big day. Border Force officials arrived to arest the couple just as they were exchanging vows in front of a registrar and two witnesses. When officers raided Nowak’s home in Wilton Avenue they found no evidence of Khan living there.
Previously Southampton Crown Court has heard how Khan was initially granted entry to Britain in September 2011 to study a three-year accountancy course in the capital. But when he failed to attend classes, immigration officers ordered him to apply for an extension or leave by the following June.
It is believed Nowak was paid an undisclosed sum to marry the 24-year old. She could now face jail.
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