Sham marriages are an abuse of our marriage laws by those seeking to circumvent immigration controls. We have significantly increased our enforcement activity against sham marriages, with 1,335 interventions in 2013-14, resulting in 840 arrests and 294 removals.
From 2 March 2015, Part 4 of the Immigration Act 2014 will provide important new powers to tackle sham marriages and civil partnerships. Subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary secondary legislation, this will include a new referral and investigation scheme for proposed marriages and civil partnerships across the UK involving a non-European Economic Area national who could benefit in immigration terms.
This will give the Home Office more time and scope to identify and investigate suspected sham marriages and civil partnerships and to take effective enforcement or casework action. Further information is contained in my Written Statement on 24 November 2014, Columns 21-22WS.