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Scheme to minimise sham marriages to be scrapped

Certificate of approval scheme had ceased to be effective following court rulings
25th March 2011: The certificate of approval scheme, initially put into use to help minimise the occurrences of sham marriages, is to be scrapped.
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As per the scheme, people not permanently settled in the UK legally required Home Office permission to marry.

The decision comes, as the scheme had ceased to be effective following court rulings.

The Home Office said it has `been using a certificate of approval scheme to help minimise the occurrences of sham marriages.

`The scheme meant people not legally permanently settled in the UK needed Home Office permission to marry.

`But in 2008, Law Lords ruled that the powers discriminated against foreign nationals on human rights grounds.

`And changes made following subsequent court rulings have weakened the scheme, meaning that it is no longer an effective method of countering the practice of sham marriage. The certificate will therefore be scrapped next week’.

Sham marriages are usually attempted as a way of gaining long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits.
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They involve situations where a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area, including the UK.

Immigration Minister Damian Green has already asserted: ‘We will not tolerate immigration abuse, including sham marriages.

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