Can the Home Office investigate proposed marriage or civil partnership?

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It is rampant nowadays that anyone who are applying to marry their partner or civil partner will be referred by a registration official to the Home Office to decide under section 48 of the Immigration Act 2014, to investigate whether the proposed marriage or civil partnership is a sham. A sham marriage is entered into by a couple who are not in a genuine relationship in an attempt to obtain an immigration advantage for one or both of them.

Normally you will be notified under section 48 of the Immigration Act 2014 that the Secretary of State has decided to investigate whether your proposed marriage or civil partnership is a sham. This is because you and your fiance(e) or proposed civil partner are not both exempt on ground of nationality or immigration status and the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to suspect that your proposed marriage or civil partnership is a sham.

Your proposed marriage or civil partnership will therefore be subject to a 70 day notice period or 3 months.

Under section 50 of the Immigration Act 2014, you must comply with the investigation, including the requirements set out in part 2 of the letter the Home Office will send and in any subsequent notification to you from the Secretary of State whether orally or in writing. After the 70 day period, the Secretary of State will decide whether you and your fiance(e) or proposed civil partner have complied the investigation and give you notice of that decision.

You must:

  1. Provide the following information:
  • A current telephone number and /or email address which will enable the Home Office to contact you if they require information or if you are required to attend for interview.

You can provide this by emailing:

MarriageReferralTeamGeneral@HomeOffice.gsi.gov.uk

Or by writing to:

MRAU, Dept 158, PO Box 306, Liverpool, L2 0QN

You will have a deadline to send these information.

Your email or letter should quote the Home Office reference provided for you.

  1. Comply with a requirement to provide specific information, evidence or photographs if you are subsequently notified that there are required.

If these are required, you will be notified of what needs to be provided and how it should be provided.

  1. Comply with a requirement to be interviewed if you are subsequently notified that an interview is required.

If an interview is required, you will be notified of this and either you will then be required to contact the Home Office to make the necessary arrangements or they will contact you for that purpose. The Home Office will tell when the interview will be.

You must make yourself available for the interview on the agreed time.

The material contained in this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Readers should not act on the basis of the information without taking professional advice.

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