Sham marriages: The Home Office’s new powers

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New powers were recently announced by Immigration and Security Minister, James Brokenshire, which will reform the Immigration Act and extend the notice period in England and Wales for marriages and civil partnerships.

The aim of these reforms is to allow more time for the Home Office to investigate those suspected of abusing the immigration system with sham marriages and civil partnerships.

All couples will have to give 28 days notice of their intention to marry or form a civil partnership, rather than the 15 days previously required. However couples where one or more of the parties is a non-EEA national may be required to give 70 days notice where the Home Office wishes to investigate into the legitimacy of the marriage or civil partnership.

These new reforms will apply to all couples wishing to marry or form a civil partnership from 2 March 2015.

For guidance on giving marriage notice under the new scheme.

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