Woman in marriage of convenience loses residency appeal

Court hears applicant’s student visa expired in 2011 and she remained in Ireland illegally

Mr Justice Max Barrett; said woman’s residency application was ‘tainted by fraud’. Photograph: Collins

Mr Justice Max Barrett; said woman’s residency application was ‘tainted by fraud’. Photograph: Collins

 

A Mauritian woman who entered into a marriage of convenience after arriving in Ireland on a student visa has failed in a High Court challenge to a refusal to grant her residency.

Mr Justice Max Barrett said the woman could not benefit from an extension of a temporary residency permission granted after she got married because that temporary permission was “tainted by fraud”.

He said her student visa expired in 2011 and she remained here illegally. In July 2015, she married an EU national and in January 2016 she got a temporary card to stay for another four months.

In April 2016, she was refused further residency on the basis that her marriage was one of convenience. The Minister for Justice, refusing a subsequent application for permission to remain, said an extension did not arise because she did not have permission to stay when the after-marriage application was being made.

She brought High Court proceedings.

Mr Justice Barrett ruled the Minister was correct in his decision not to extend because “one cannot vary the non-existent”.

While the Minister enjoys a discretionary power, she did not ask him to exercise that power nor was he obliged to do so, he said.

The Minister also told her if she left the State voluntarily, it was open to her apply from outside the State for another type of residency visa.

The judge said the court was coerced as a matter of law to refuse her application.