The UK Home Office announced that all marriages following civil preliminaries and civil partnerships in England and Wales will be subject to a minimum notice period of 28 days. This new law has been introduced to tackle sham marriages and civil partnerships by the Home Office, in a tough action to crack down on couples trying to cheat the UK immigration system.
Any couple including a non-EEA national who plans on getting married in the Anglian Church will be required to complete civil preliminaries and give notice at a local register office before marriage.
Reports from registration officers to the Home Office of suspected sham marriages are increasing year on year. The Home Office received almost 2,700 reports of suspected sham cases from registration officers in the first nine months of 2014-15. This compares to 2,129 in the whole of 2013-14.
The Home Office has undertaken over 2,000 sham marriage operations in the first nine months of 2014-15, resulting in over 1,000 arrests and over 430 removals. This compares with 331 removals in the whole of 2013-14.
In the first nine months of 2014-15, there were 54 successful prosecutions of individuals involved in arranging sham marriages.
Find out more information on the changes to marriage laws!