Exclusive: Main office investigators accused of challenging intimate sex details and halting genuine weddings
Genuine duets are being prevented from getting married and are subjected to ” contemptuou” and “gruelling” checks as part of a government crackdown on sham weddings, a Guardian investigation has found.
Couples and solicitors described uniting ceremonies being interrupted so that the Home office could question parties about their sexuality lives, an official finding a nude draw on a person’s phone and showing it to others in the room, and dawning attacks carried out to check if couples were sharing a bed.
In one case, a duo were told their relationship is not able to be sincere because they were wearing pyjamas in bunked. In others, parties have been detained for months after being wrongly accused of entering into a sham marriage.
In recent years the government has drew it more difficult for migrants to wed 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 Main office whenever most categories of migrants give notice of marriage. The Main office was given capabilities to delay nuptials for up to 70 daytimes to allow for investigations.
Information obtained by the Guardian through a freedom of information request indicates registrars mailed 2,868 part 24 reports- which alerting the administration is a potential imitation union- in 2018, a 40% rise from 2,038 in 2014. Lawyers said registrars had become” infected with the culture of the hostile environment “.
Of those reports last year, 1,618( 56%) were seen worthy of investigation, are comparable to 1,439( 58%) in 2015. The Main office refused to share data relating to the number of marriages determined to be shams.
Nath Gbikpi, of Wesley Gryk Solicitors, said the government’s approaching to migrant wedlocks needed to be seen as part of its unfriendly home policy.” The Main office has put itself in a position where it can prevent a sincere duo, whom they agree to be in a sincere tie-in, to get married ,” 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 ultimately accepted that our relationship was genuine ,” 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 Main office came inside our residence to check that everything was joined .”
Another couple who endeavoured permission to marry were told their relationship would not be investigated, exclusively to have their wedding ceremony ended by officials, according to a statement submitted to their solicitors and be forwarded to the Guardian.
The statement said the couple were taken into separate areas and to learn about their sexuality lives, including details about sex positions and contraception. The woman was so distressed that partway through the interview she refused to answer any more questions. The Home office officials then halted the ceremony and affirmed the wedlock to be sham.
The couple, who are still together, is very much humbled that they did not tell their reception clients that the union had not been permitted to go ahead, instead continue providing the episode and pretending to celebrate.
In another case, a homosexual duo were invited to a Main office reporting centre for an interrogation after they requested permission to enter into a civil partnership. The duo were questioned separately, the British guy for 90 times and his Thai marriage for five hours.
The Home Office urges the government to scrutinize the couple’s phones and seen an email sent by the Thai man many years before to a former spouse, which included a naked photo of himself. This photo was shown to everyone in the interview room, leaving the man feeling humbled, the couple said.
” He described the whole experience as outraging ,” the British guy said.” They grilled him in a very aggressive practice that “hes found” very sickening .” The in-migration event was ultimately deduced a few months ago in the couple’s favour.
The Home office declined to comment on individual cases.
Poppy Firmin, a caseworker at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, said:” Numerous parties go through the asylum process unrepresented. In the meantime you can’t work, you often can’t consider, 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 Solicitor, said:” Home office officials may come to your residence early in the morning and check up on the number of toothbrushes … The Main office has every right to to interfere each step of the mode, and some registrars have become infected with the culture of the unfriendly surrounding .”
A Home Office representative said the government was focused on ensuring that pedigree movement was based on a genuine relationship.” Registrars are given comprehensive evidence-based guidance on contexts that may conjure thoughts about a wedding, such as certain actions and the level of information one party known about another ,” the spokesperson said.” It would then be for Main office migration officials to decide whether or not to investigate further .”