Exclusive: Home Office investigates accused of asking intimate sex details and halting sincere weddings
Genuine couples are being prevented from getting married and are vulnerable to ” slur” and “gruelling” checks as part of a government crackdown on sham wedlocks, a Guardian investigation has found.
Couples and solicitors described uniting ceremonies being interrupted so that the Home office could question people about their sexuality lives, an official finding a nude depict on a person’s phone and showing it to others in the room, and sunrise 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 berthed. In others, beings have been detained for months after being mistakenly accused of entering into a imitation marriage.
In recent years the government has formed it more difficult for migrants to marriage 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 dominances to delay nuptials for up to 70 daytimes to allow for investigations.
Information obtained by the Guardian through a freedom of information request proves registrars mailed 2,868 part 24 reports- which alarm the authorities to a potential sham wedding- in 2018, a 40% rise from 2,038 in 2014. Lawyers said registrars has now become” newly infected different cultures of the hostile milieu “.
Of those reports last year, 1,618( 56%) were seen worthy of investigation, are comparable to 1,439( 58%) in 2015. The Home Office rejecting to share data on the number of members of matrimonies found to be shams.
Nath Gbikpi, of Wesley Gryk Solicitors, said the government’s approach to migrant matrimonies needed to be seen as part of its unfriendly situation program.” The Main office had put in place itself in a position where it can prevent a genuine duet, whom they agree to be in a genuine relation, 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 eventually accepted that our relationship was sincere ,” Debora said.
” I was in a state of collapse and pain all the time I was in detention ,” said Qasim.” It was very reviling that the Home office came inside our residence to check that everything was joined .”
Another couple who tried permission to marry were told their relationship would not be investigated, only to have their wedding ceremony interrupted by officials, according to a statement submitted to their solicitors and provided to the Guardian.
The statement said the couple were taken into separate rooms and asked about their sex lives, including details about sexual 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 opening ceremony and showed the union to be sham.
The couple, who are still together, is very much humbled that they did not tell their reception guests that the marriage had not been permitted to go ahead, instead continuing with the event and pretending to celebrate.
In another case, a lesbian duet were invited to participate in a Main office reporting centre for an interrogation after they requested permission to enter into a civil partnership. The duet were questioned separately, the British soldier for 90 hours and his Thai marriage for five hours.
The Home office urges the government to inspect the couple’s telephones and received an email sent by the Thai man many years before to a former collaborator, 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 disgusting ,” the British mortal said.” They grilled him in a very aggressive acces that “hes found” exceedingly outraging .” The migration case was eventually agreed 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:” Many beings go through the asylum process unrepresented. In the meantime you can’t work, you often can’t contemplate, and then you may or may not be permitted to marry. Or you may be detained after your marriage ceremony is gatecrashed by Main office officials. It’s very degrade .”
Elizabeth Ruddick, of Wilsons Attorney, 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 course, and some registrars have become infected with the culture of the hostile situation .”
A Home office representative said the government was focused on ensuring that lineage migration was based on a sincere relation.” Registrars are given comprehensive evidence-based guidance on situations that may grow suspicions about a wedlock, such as certain practices and the level of information one party knows about another ,” the spokesman said.” It would then be for Home office immigration officials to decide whether or not to investigate further .”