One of the biggest problems to affect the Spouse Visa route in the UK is the issue of sham marriages. These are marriages of convenience, where one of the participants is either a British citizen or has settled status.
For a long period of time, the issue of sham marriages was front page news, with investigations taking place all over the country into the validity of many marriages which were taking place at the time. Nowadays mainstream media news of sham marriages is pretty rare, but many believe these still exist and take place regularly across the country. Prevention Better Than Cure The prevalence of so-called sham marriages meant that the British government opted to make significant changes to the way in which marriages were investigated, wherein there was the potential for one of the participants to gain an immigration advantage. One of these changes was that all such marriages were notified to the Home Office well in advance to ensure that, if needed, an investigation could take place into the credibility of the marriage.
The addition of pre-marriage checks was a significant change that helped to reduce the problem significantly. Widespread reporting on the situation ensured that the Home Office had to focus minds on the issue and ensure that the number of sham marriages taking place was minimised. The big problem is is that there is still only so much the Home Office can do. These efforts have helped to encourage better results but there is still clearly work to be done to eradicate the problem entirely. Other changes in visa regulations now ensure that relationships are credible by adding significant requirements as far as both finances and documentary evidence are concerned. It is hoped that by introducing these additional checks and balances, the issue of sham marriages can be minimised to almost the point of extinction.
What To Do If You're Looking To Get Married In The Uk.
If you're looking to get married in the UK, you have little to worry about if your relationship is genuine. While your local registry office has a duty to ensure that your relationship is credible and genuine, they are not trying to catch you out - they have a duty to inform the Home Office of any marriage that is likely to end up with one of the participants gaining an advantage for staying in the UK (such as those marrying people with settled status or British citizens). As long as you are in a genuine relationship, you have little to fear from the investigation that is likely to be carried out by the Home Office. Relationships that are not credible are normally easily detected. If yours is genuine, you have nothing to fear. The Home Office has significant experience in targeting these fraudulent couples, and the checks are in place to ensure they do not achieve their aims.
If you want to marry a British citizen or a person with settled status, you need to be aware that your relationship will be investigated. You will need to keep significant amounts of documented evidence to prove that your relationship has existed over the period that you say it has, and that you have lived together for the time that you specify. Various items of documented evidence will be taken into account - among these will be pictures, messages, emails and letters from various authorities, showing a distinct history of not only a relationship but also of you living in the same place. This information may be required to make any investigation take place as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you are concerned about any of this then please get in touch and our team will be happy to help you.
Future Of Sham Marriages
As investigation techniques and technology become ever more sophisticated, life will get harder for those who intend to commit fraud. Conversely, issues such as Brexit mean the immigration picture in the UK is going to change significantly in the coming years. With relatively unstable governments more likely being in the case in the near future, itâ€™s now uncertain as to which changes will be made in the future as far as immigration is concerned. But, if one thing is clear, itâ€™s that significant changes are likely to take place in the UKâ€™s immigration system.
Itâ€™s hoped that technological advances will help to ensure only eligible migrants will be able to access the immigration system in the UK. Fixing this would not only be good news for the Home Office (by helping reduce the pressure), it would also be good news for genuine migrants. The system in the UK is designed to help genuine migrants move to the country. A technologically more advanced Home Office that could filter applications better means more capacity to help those that are eligible. We can only hope the Home Office continues to get better in detecting fraud so genuine migrants can benefit.
Where Can We Get More Help
Our immigration experts can help you to move to the UK and can be there to help when you need immigration support in your corner. We have helped lots of couples in the past to prove the credibility of their relationship and we can certainly assist you. If you need help with the UKâ€™s Spouse Visa route or are concerned about your ability to settle in the UK, get in touch with one of our specialists who will be more than able to aid you through the process.