FG to table amendment on 'sham marriages'


Fine Gael is to table an amendment to the Civil Registration Act to deal with so-called “sham marriages” taking place in registry offices.

The party’s immigration and integration spokesman Denis Naughten said the move would allow registrars to inform the Department for Justice of suspected marriages of convenience, which could halt the marriage and initiate an investigation to look behind the circumstances of the marriage in question.

Current laws allow a marriage to be stopped if there is a belief that it is not genuine.

"There is a requirement on people wishing to marry to register their intent three months in advance,” said Mr Naughten.

“This amendment will give the Minister for Justice ample time to register an objection and cause an investigation to be carried out, where there are genuine suspicions that this may be a sham marriage."

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern told an Oireachtas committee last week that out of 4,600 applications for residency since May 2006, some 10 per cent of all EU spouses were Latvian and 33 per cent of the Latvians were married to Pakistanis.

Some 50 per cent of the Latvians were married to Pakistanis, Bangladeshis or Indians as compared with 39 per cent of the Latvians who married non-EU nationals closer to home, including Latvian aliens, Ukrainians, Belarusian or Russian.