In the context of the European Convention on Human Rights obligation to respect family life, the UK government’s stated aim of significantly reducing immigration is challenged by the volume of marriage-related migration and settlement. In this context, increased immigration policy attention has focussed on the genuineness of marriages involving migrants. The resulting attempts to define, identify and combat marriages of convenience are, however, based on a binary of genuine and ‘sham’ marriages, and sometimes normative criteria for evaluating the authenticity of relationships. These may not adequately account for the diversity of marital practices involving migration, and risk producing discriminatory outcomes. With the assistance of previously unpublished UKBA material, this article explores recent developments surrounding ‘sham marriages’ to highlight areas of particular concern, before setting out an agenda for urgently needed research in this under-studied but increasingly critical area.
|Translated title of the contribution||Marriages of convenience or inconvenient marriages: regulating spousal migration to Britain|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2012|
- Migration Mobilities Bristol
- SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship