UKVI defines a marriage of convenience as an ‘abuse of the right to reside’. Unsurprisingly, where UKVI suspect that the marriage or civil partnership between the EEA national and non-EEA national was entered into to circumvent the UK immigration rules, the UKVI will issue a refusal with the following wording:
The definition of ‘spouse’ in the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 does not include a party to a marriage of convenience. I am satisfied that you are party to a marriage of convenience and are therefore not the family member of an EEA national in accordance with Regulation 7 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006.
One of our clients, an Indian national, was absolutely devastated to receive a letter from UKVI informing her that her recent marriage to a French national was a sham.
The client had followed the online guidance and submitted her original marriage certificate. UKVI’s guidance makes it clear that a valid marriage certificate is sufficient to prove a family relationship. In fact, where UKVI suspects that the marriage is one of inconvenience, the burden of proof falls on UKVI to support their assertion by testing their suspicions. This is supported by case law
Despite this guidance, UKVI did not ask the client to provide additional information about the relationship. Nor had the client or her spouse been invited to an interview. Unfortunately, the client’s time frame for lodging an appeal had lapsed and so the decision to refuse the application, for this reason, could not be challenged.
She contacted us for the first time to assist her with a new application for an EEA family permit. By now, she had been married for 6 months.
To help the client increase her chances of success in securing an EEA family permit, she was advised to gather as many documents that she had that related to her relationship with her spouse. The purpose of this exercise was to show UKVI that despite the couple’s marriage of 6 months, the couple had been in a genuine relationship for over 2 years.
The following documents were submitted:
- Records of past communications between the couple such as Skype and WhatsApp messages
- Travel tickets of holidays taken together
Suffice to say, the client’s application was successful this time around.
An unmarried accomplice can be considered for an EEA family permit as a more distant family part on the off chance that they are in a good association with the EEA national. The ECO should consider factors, for example, the length of being together, joint accounts, regardless of whether the couple has kids together to build up regardless of whether the relationship is solid. Each case must be taken a gander at all alone merits. While direction 12(2) influences arrangement for the issuing of a Family to allow to more distant family individuals (counting unmarried accomplices), ECOs ought to know that exclusive gathering the more distant family part criteria is lacking. Indeed, even where an ECO has fulfilled that the candidate is in a ‘sturdy’ relationship, the ECO needs to go ahead to consider whether ‘in every one of the conditions, it appears to the passage freedom officer proper to issue the family allow’ Regulation 12(2)(c).
These kinds of cases prove that the law is not something to be taken lightly, especially immigration law. If you are in the process of any sort of EEA family permit documentations or applications, make sure you approach professionals for advice. The SmartMove2UK takes pride in its track record of being the best in EEA family permit assistance in the country. Contact our reliable and efficient immigration attorneys today!