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Probe suspicious before issuing visas: campaigners

Registrars should be able to impose 3 months delay for probing doubtful wedding 10th May 2011: Even as the Government has tightened the screws around the propagators of fake weddings, campaigners have demanded suspicious weddings be probed before the issuance of visas.
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Calling for the launching of concentrated effort to deal with sham marriages, they insisted the tricksters giving a goby to the immigration laws were required to be dealt with firmly.

The campaign groups demanded registrars should be in a position to enforce a delay of up to three months in cases of suspicious wedding.

The time gap would be enough for the cases to be probed. They also called for stronger checks by immigration officials at the time of handing out visas for people from abroad marrying in the UK.

Sham marriages are usually attempted as a way of gaining long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits.

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.

Sir Andrew Green of MigrationWatch insisted tougher measures were needed to deal with the situation that has resulted.
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The assertion comes at a time when certificate of approval scheme, initially put into use to help minimise the occurrences of sham marriages, has been scrapped.

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’.

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