Exclusive: Home Office examiners accused of challenging insinuate sex details and halting sincere weddings
Genuine pairs are being prevented from getting married and are subjected to ” insult” and “gruelling” checks as part of a government crackdown on sham unions, a Guardian investigation has found.
Couples and lawyers described wedding ceremonies being interrupted so that the Home office could question people about their fornication lives, an official finding a nude drawing on a person’s phone and showing it to others in the room, and dawning attacks carried out to check if duets were sharing a bed.
In one case, a couple were told their relationship has not been possible to be genuine because they were wearing pyjamas in bed. In others, parties have been detained for months after being incorrectly accused of entering into a sham marriage.
In recent years the government has cleared it more difficult for migrants to united in the UK, in an effort to stop people using marriage to UK or EU citizens as a means to remain in the country.
Since changes to the law in 2015, registrars have been required to report to the Home office whenever most categories of migrants give notice of marriage. The Main office was given supremacies to delay nuptials for up to 70 dates to allow for investigations.
Information obtained by the Guardian through a freedom of information request depicts registrars mailed 2,868 region 24 reports- which alerting the administration has a potential imitation matrimony- in 2018, a 40% rise from 2,038 in 2014. Lawyers said registrars had become” infected with the culture of the hostile environ “.
Of those reports last year, 1,618( 56%) were regarded worthy of investigation, compared against 1,439( 58%) in 2015. The Home office refused to share data on the increasing numbers of unions considered to be shams.
Nath Gbikpi, of Wesley Gryk Solicitors, said the government’s approach to migrant weddings needed to be seen as part of its unfriendly home plan.” The Main office has put itself in a position where it can prevent a sincere couple, whom they agree to be in a sincere tie-in, to to enter into marriage ,” she said.
One couple, Qasim, 29, from Pakistan, and Debora, 33, from Portugal, were asleep at home when they were raided by four officials in January 2016.” We were questioned separately about our relationship and then Qasim was arrested, taken away and locked up in detention for four months before the Home office finally accepted that our relationship was sincere ,” Debora said.
” I was in a state of stupor and damage all the time I was in detention ,” said Qasim.” It was very insulting that the Home office came inside our home to check that everything was connected .”
Another couple who striven permission to marry were told their relationship would not be investigated, only to have their wedding ceremony ended by officials, according to a statement submitted to their advocates and provided to the Guardian.
The statement said the couple were taken into separate areas and asked about their sexuality lives, including more detailed information on sex positions and contraception. The girl was so distressed that partway through the interview she refused to answer any more questions. The Main office officials then halted the opening ceremony and declared the marriage to be sham.
The couple, who are still together, were so humbled that they did not tell their reception guests that the marriage had not been permitted to go ahead, instead continue providing the happen and pretending to celebrate.
In another case, a lesbian couple were invited to a Main office reporting centre for an interview after they requested permission to enter into a civil partnership. The duet were questioned separately, the British soldier for 90 times and his Thai collaborator for five hours.
The Home Office ask him to inspect the couple’s phones and noted an email sent by the Thai man many years before to a former partner, which included a naked photo of himself. This photo was shown to everyone in the interview area, leaving the man feeling humiliated, the couple said.
” He described the whole experience as disgusting ,” the British humanity said.” They grilled him in a very vigorous acces that he found very appalling .” The immigration event was eventually concluded a few months ago in the couple’s favour.
The Main office declined to comment on individual cases.
Poppy Firmin, a caseworker at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, said:” Many people go through the asylum process unrepresented. In the meantime you can’t work, you often can’t study, and then you may or may not be permitted to marry. Or you may be detained after your marriage ceremony is gatecrashed by Home Office officials. It’s very cheapen .”
Elizabeth Ruddick, of Wilsons Attorney, said:” Main office officials may came to see you your residence early in the morning and check up on the number of toothbrushes … The Home office has the right to interfere every step of the method, and some registrars have become infected with the culture of the unfriendly context .”
A Home Office spokesman said the government was focused on ensuring that house movement was based on a genuine relation.” Registrars are given comprehensive evidence-based guidance on occasions that may grow impressions about a union, such as particular actions and the level of information one party are well aware of another ,” the spokesman said.” It would then be for Home office in-migration officials to decide whether or not to investigate further .”