This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
A 23-year-old Sri Lankan man was arrested in connection with a sham wedding at Harrow Register Office a few days ago.
He had overstayed his visa and had been due to marry a 21-year-old Italian woman.
Acting on information that the relationship may not be genuine, officers intervened and prevented the wedding from taking place. The operation was carried out with the full co-operation of the superintendent registrar.
The ‘bride’ was questioned by officers and released, while the Sri Lankan man was placed on immigration bail while his case is progressed. He faces removal from the UK if found to have no permission to stay.
A sham marriage or civil partnership typically occurs when a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area as a means of attempting to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits in the UK.
Measures outlined in the UK’s recently unveiled Immigration Bill include extending the marriage and civil penalty notice period to 28 days in England and Wales, and 70 days in some circumstances. This will give immigration officers and registrars more time to investigate, prosecute and remove those attempting to stage sham marriages.