Express (London), June 25, 2014
Sham marriages to gain British citizenship are happening at an “industrial” rate of one every hour, it was revealed yesterday.
Registrars and members of the public reported more than 9,100 bogus weddings last year but only 90 people were removed, the Home Affairs Committee was told.
Many more go unreported because register office staff fail to tell immigration officials, said borders inspector John Vine.
He explained to MPs the route to UK citizenship was a massive worry and along with proxy weddings, where neither bride nor groom has to be present, was the “biggest threat” to immigration control.
Last night Tory MP Douglas Carswell said: “It sounds like it’s happening on an industrial scale, but there is nothing we can do because we are part of the EU.”
Mr Vine told of a case involving a Nigerian, who has made six applications for residency based on a proxy marriage to an African with German citizenship and another to a naturalised French woman.