Cagin Husnu of Kangs Solicitors explains the current law relating to Sham Marriages.
What Is A ‘Sham’ Marriage? | Kangs Immigration Advisory Solicitors
A Sham Marriage is one entered into simply to achieve the advantages arising from such status even though the union is, of itself, legal, to the extent that it conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it is conducted.
A prime example would be where the intent is, solely, to obtain leave to remain in the UK, where there are no alternative routes available to obtain leave.
Over recent years the Home Office has cracked down on Sham Marriages.
Recent Case Law Decision | Kangs Immigration Team
Judgement was handed down by the Supreme Court on 26th July 2017 in the case of Sadovska and another (Appellants) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) (Scotland) (‘ Sadovska and another’)  UKSC 54.
The Circumstances Of Sadovska And Another | Kangs National Immigration Lawyers
Ms Sadovska, is a citizen of Lithuania, who had been legally living and working in the UK since February 2007.
Mr Malik is a citizen of Pakistan who came to the UK lawfully as a student in May 2011, but failed to leave when his visa expired on 15th April 2013 and has been living unlawfully in the UK as an ‘overstayer’.
They developed a relationship and, on 25th March 2014, they published notice of their intention to marry on 17th April 2014 at Leith Registry Office.
However, on 28th March 2014, they signed a statement in connection with Mr Malik’s status as an overstayer saying:
‘We have discussed the idea of living together in depth and also touched upon the subject of marriage, but as of yet, none of these discussions have manifested into action’.
On the day of the wedding and before it had taken place, immigration officers attended the wedding venue and interviewed both of them with the result that they were prevented from marrying.
They were both then subsequently issued with notices that they were liable for removal because:
- Mr Malik was an overstayer and
- Ms Sadovska had abused her EEA rights, specifically, that she had attempted to enter into a marriage of convenience.
The Appeal Process | Kangs Immigration Solicitors
- The appeals of both parties to the First-Tier Tribunal were dismissed.
- Both appeals were further dismissed by the Upper Tribunal and the First Division of the Inner House of the Court of Session.
- The Supreme Court allowed their appeals, ruling that the Home Office had the burden of proving ‘sham’ marriages.
Additionally, the Supreme Court stated that the First-Tier Tribunal should have considered whether Ms Sadovska’s ordered removal from the UK was a proportionate action to take following her alleged abuse of rights.
How Can We help?| Kangs Immigration Solicitors
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If you find yourself in a position whereby you require immigration advice on any matter then please do not hesitate to contact our team through either of the following: