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Home Office arrest sham wedding suspect | Immigration Matters

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Home Office immigration officers have arrested an Indian moments before he was due to take part in a suspected “sham marriage” in Hounslow.

Following a tip-off that the relationship may not be genuine, Home Office Immigration Enforcement officers attended Hounslow Civic Centre on Lampton Road at 11.30am on Friday 26 April where the wedding to an EEA national was due to take place.

Minutes before the marriage ceremony was about to start the immigration officers could not ‘hold their peace’ and stopped proceedings.

The 22-year-old man, living at an address in St Leonard’s Gardens, Hounslow, was nabbed for being in the country illegally having overstayed his visa.

He was about to enter into a partnership with a 21-year-old Latvian woman when officers swooped. When questioned by Home Office enforcement officers she claimed she had met her groom on Skype.

She was interviewed by officers and later released, while the Indian man has been detained pending his removal from the UK.

The operation was carried out with the co-operation of the Superintendent Registrar.

Sarah Burton, head of the Home Office’s West London Immigration Enforcement team, said:

“We are working closely with registrars to clamp down on sham weddings and civil partnerships. This operation is another example of the success that we are having.

“Where there are suspicions that a relationship may not be genuine we will investigate and, if necessary, intervene to stop it happening.”

Sham or bogus marriages or civil partnerships occur when a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area (EEA) for the purpose of gaining long-term residency (ILR) and the right to work and claim benefits in the UK.

The Home Office advise anyone with information about immigration crime can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit the Crimestoppers website.

If you have been arrested or detained, need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 1, 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed, Spouse Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: or visit for free immigration news updates.

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