Marriages of convenience

It is always difficult to navigate between the different definitions of “sham marriage” and “marriage of convenience”.

The Upper Tribunal has now returned to this topic in the recent decision of Saeed (Deception – knowledge – marriage of convenience) [2022] UKUT 18 (IAC).

The facts

Mr Saeed, a Pakistani citizen, entered the UK as a student in 2008. He held leave until 2014, when the Home Office made a decision to remove him under section 10 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 because of an allegedly fraudulent English language test certificate. He challenged that decision by way of judicial review.

While the judicial review was pending, in October 2016, Mr Saeed applied for an EEA residence card as the unmarried partner of a Lithuanian national. This application was refused; Mr Saeed exercised his right of appeal. Meanwhile, he married his partner, in August 2017.

The First-Tier Tribunal dismissed his appeal, finding that he was in a marriage of convenience, but that he had not submitted a fraudulent test certificate.

By this point his judicial review was before the Court of Appeal. This was settled in February 2020, with the Home Office accepting the tribunal’s finding that the certificate was not fraudulent. His leave was reinstated.

Mr Saeed then sought indefinite leave to remain on the basis of ten years’ long residence. This was refused. The Home Office said that the finding that he was in a marriage of convenience meant that he had made false representations to obtain leave to remain. Mr Saeed maintained that he was in a genuine relationship and appealed this refusal. The First-tier Tribunal dismissed the appeal.

Marriages of convenience

In the Upper Tribunal, Mr Saeed argued among other things that the judge had failed to distinguish between a sham marriage and a marriage of convenience. Being in a marriage of convenience did not mean that a false representation had been made and did not amount to “sufficiently reprehensible conduct” to justify refusal of his long residence application.

A sham marriage is defined under the Immigration Acts as one in which there is no genuine relationship between the parties to the marriage (or civil partnership), and one or both of the parties enter into the marriage for the purpose of circumventing UK immigration control.

A marriage of convenience is defined as a marriage entered into for the purpose of circumventing immigration laws.

No genuine relationship here

As far as Mr Saeed was concerned, the tribunal held that there was in any event “no evidence” before the original judge “that the parties were in a genuine relationship”. As there was no genuine relationship, the marriage was a sham and there had been deception.

It appears that unfortunately no further evidence was submitted to address these issues.

Like this article? Share on

Facebook
Linkdin
Twitter
Telegram
WhatsApp

Related articles

Information about our own complaints process, raising concerns to the Legal Ombudsman and to us

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure here. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. 

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

What do to if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving our final response to your complaint; and,
  • Within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned; or
  • Within one year of you realising that there was a concern.

 

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, you can contact them at the following details:

 Contact details

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them.