Seeks support to prevent family visas being used to bypass immigration laws
15th September 2011: You may find yourself trying knot with trouble, if you are getting married just to come to the UK — at least this is what Immigration Minister Damian Green is all set to indicate, as he seeks support for plans to prevent family visas being used to bypass immigration laws.
Green is expected to say: ‘If your marriage is not genuine, if you have no interest in this country and its way of life, if you are coming here to live off benefits, don’t come in the first place.
In his speech to the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, he is expected to sent a you-are-not-welcome message to anyone making attempts to enter into a sham marriages or coming to the UK to live on benefits.
Green will say: ‘These are sensitive issues which have been ignored for far too long but ones we are determined to tackle.
‘We want a system that lets everyone know where they stand and what their responsibilities are….
‘That is why our focus is on delivering better family migration – better for migrants, for communities and for the UK as a whole.’
The assertion assumes significance as two-thirds of immigrants coming to Britain on a marriage visa have never been here before.
On an average approximately 40,000 migrants annually find their way into the country either to get married or to join a spouse. In the process, they bring along with them another 9,000 children and other dependants.
The Daily Mail claimed examination of Home Office files from 2009 indicates 67 per cent were coming for the first time. Some of them may be having little knowledge and understanding of British culture.
Reacting to the findings, chairman of Migrationwatch Sir Andrew Green said a surprisingly high proportion of those granted marriage visas appear to be total newcomers to Britain.
An inflow of this kind can only add to continuing problems of integrating very large numbers of foreign migrants into our society.’