Immigration control and formation

Civil Partnership Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 26th October 2004.

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Part 1

Introduction

Application of Schedule

1 (1) This Schedule applies if—

(a) two people wish to register as civil partners of each other, and

(b) one of them is subject to immigration control.

(2) For the purposes of this Schedule a person is subject to immigration control if—

(a) he is not an EEA national, and

(b) under the Immigration Act 1971 (c.77) he requires leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom (whether or not leave has been given).

(3) ''EEA national'' means a national of a State which is a contracting party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2nd May 1992 (as it has effect from time to time).

The qualifying condition

2 (1) For the purposes of this Schedule the qualifying condition, in relation to a person subject to immigration control, is that the person—

(a) has an entry clearance granted expressly for the purpose of enabling him to form a civil partnership in the United Kingdom,

(b) has the written permission of the Secretary of State to form a civil partnership in the United Kingdom, or

(c) falls within a class specified for the purpose of this paragraph by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(2) ''Entry clearance'' has the meaning given by section 33(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 (c.77).

(3) Section 25 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.)Act 2004 (c.19) (regulations about applications for permission to marry) applies in relation to the permission referred to in sub-paragraph (1)(b) as it applies in relation to permission to marry under sections 19(3)(b), 21(3)(b) and 23(3)(b) of that Act.

Part 2

England and Wales

Application of this Part

3 This Part of this Schedule applies if the civil partnership is to be formed in England and Wales by signing a civil partnership schedule.

Procedure for giving notice of proposed civil partnership

4 (1) Each notice of proposed civil partnership under Chapter 1 of Part 2 of this Act—

(a) must be given to a registration authority specified for the purposes of this paragraph by regulations made by the Secretary of State, and

(b) must be delivered to the relevant individual in person by the two proposed civil partners.

(2) ''The relevant individual'' means such employee or officer or other person provided by the specified registration authority as is determined in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this sub-paragraph.

(3) Regulations under sub-paragraph (2) may, in particular, describe a person by reference to the location or office where he works.

(4) Before making any regulations under this paragraph the Secretary of State must consult the Registrar General.

Declaration

5 The necessary declaration under section 9 must include a statement that the person subject to immigration control fulfils the qualifying condition (and the reason why).

Recording of notice

6 (1) The fact that a notice of proposed civil partnership has been given must not be recorded in the register unless the registration authority is satisfied by the production of specified evidence that the person fulfils the qualifying condition.

(2) ''Specified evidence'' means such evidence as may be specified in guidance issued by the Registrar General.

Supplementary

7 (1) Part 2 of this Act has effect in any case where this Part of this Schedule applies subject to any necessary modification.

(2) In particular section 52 has effect as if the matters proof of which is not necessary in support of the civil partnership included compliance with this Part of this Schedule.

(3) An expression used in this Part of this Schedule and in Chapter 1 of Part 2 of this Act has the same meaning as in that Chapter.

Part 3

Scotland

Application of this Part

8 This Part of this Schedule applies if the civil partnership is to be formed in Scotland.

Procedure for giving notice of proposed civil partnership

9 (1) Notice under section 86—

(a) may be submitted to the district registrar of a district specified for the purposes of this paragraph by regulations made by the Secretary of State, and

(b) may not be submitted to the district registrar of any other registration district.

(2) Before making any regulations under this paragraph the Secretary of State must consult the Registrar General.

Pre-condition for making entry in civil partnership notice book etc.

10 (1) Where the district registrar to whom notice is submitted by virtue of paragraph 9(1) is the district registrar for the proposed place of registration, he shall neither—

(a) make an entry under section 87, nor

(b) complete a civil partnership schedule under section 92,

in respect of the proposed civil partnership unless satisfied, by the provision of specified evidence, that the intended civil partner subject to immigration control fulfils the qualifying condition.

(2) Where the district registrar to whom notice is so submitted (here the ''notified registrar'') is not the district registrar for the proposed place of registration (here the ''second registrar'')—

(a) the notified registrar shall, if satisfied as is mentioned in sub-paragraph(1), send the notices and any fee, certificate or declaration which accompanied them, to the second registrar, and

(b) the second registrar shall be treated as having received the notices from the intended partners on the dates on which the notified registrar received them.

(3) ''Specified evidence'' means such evidence as may be specified in guidance issued by the Secretary of State after consultation with the Registrar General.

Supplementary

11 (1) Part 3 of this Act has effect in any case where this Part of this Schedule applies subject to any necessary modification.

(2) An expression used in this Part of this Schedule and in Part 3 of this Act has the same meaning as in that Part.

Part 4

Northern Ireland

Application of this Part

12 This Part of this Schedule applies if the civil partnership is to be formed in Northern Ireland.

Procedure for giving civil partnership notices

13 (1) The civil partnership notices must be given—

(a) only to a prescribed registrar, and

(b) in prescribed cases by both parties together in person at a prescribed register office.

(2) Before making any regulations under this paragraph the Secretary of State must consult the Registrar General.

Accompanying statement as to the qualifying condition

14 A civil partnership notice given by a person subject to immigration control must be accompanied by a statement that the person fulfils the qualifying condition (and the reason why).

Civil partnership notice book and civil partnership schedule

15 (1) No action must be taken under section 136(1) or 139 (civil partnership notice book and civil partnership schedule) unless the prescribed registrar is satisfied by the production of specified evidence that the person fulfils the qualifying condition.

(2) If the prescribed registrar is satisfied as mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) but is not the registrar for the purposes of section 136(1), the prescribed registrar must send him the civil partnership notices and he is to be treated as having received them when the prescribed registrar received them.

(3) ''Specified evidence'' means such evidence as may be specified in guidance issued by the Secretary of State after consultation with the Registrar General.

Supplementary

16 (1) Part 4 of this Act has effect in any case where this Part of this Schedule applies subject to any necessary modification.

(2) In particular, section 172 has effect as if the matters proof of which is not necessary in support of the civil partnership included compliance with this Part of this Schedule.

(3) In this Part of this Schedule—

(a) ''prescribed'' means prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State;

(b) ''registrar'' means a person appointed under section 148(1)(a) or (b) or (3);

(c) other expressions have the same meaning as in Chapter 1 of Part 4 of this Act.

(4) Section 18(3) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 (c.33(N.I.)) (provisions as to holders of offices) shall apply to this Part of this Schedule as if it were an enactment within the meaning of that Act.

Part 5

Regulations

17 Any power to make regulations under this Schedule is exercisable by statutory instrument which is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.'.—[Jacqui Smith.]

Brought up, and read the First and Second time.

Motion made, and Question put, That the new clauses and schedules be added to the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 12, Noes 2.

Division number 89 Adults Abused in Childhood — Immigration control and formation

Aye: 12 MPs

No: 2 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly agreed to.

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State (Industry and the Regions and Deputy Minister for Women), Department of Trade and Industry

On a point of order, Mr. Cook. As we are coming to the end of this stage of the Bill, perhaps I might express my appreciation of what my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland called your stoicism and the good order that you have been able to maintain in the Committee, as well as Mr. Gale's contribution from the Chair. Perhaps I could also record the appreciation of all members of the Committee for the work of the Clerks and Reporters—and whoever prints the voting papers, because clearly they have been hard at work during this Committee stage.

I should also like to record my appreciation of my colleagues. We have had a particularly talented and informed group of Labour Back Benchers on the Committee and, in particular, I would like to record my thanks to my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary and my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich, East (Mr. Watson) on the Front Bench. All members of the Committee have, on the whole, contributed

constructively to our debates. We have had some good debates when we have been able to have the debates that the Bill deserves.

I also want to put on the record my personal appreciation of the very large team of officials who have worked not just during this part of the process, but during the many months and years of the run-up to it in all airts and pairts of the country. I have learned something as we have gone through the Bill.

Finally, I want to record my appreciation of the many stakeholders who have contributed to our consideration and development of the Bill, particularly the couples whom I was able to meet during the consultation process. They showed me not only that we are putting right the practical difficulties that they face in their lives, but, through the joy that they feel at the possibility of their relationships having the recognition and respect that they and their families want, that we are undertaking something of which many of us should feel proud.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

Further to that point of order, Mr. Cook. May I associate myself with what the Minister said and thank you and Mr. Gale for chairing our proceedings so efficiently? I also thank the Clerks and the Official Reporters. I, too, have behind me a talented and informed team of colleagues in their infinite variety. I hope that, in the limited time available, we have done our duty in trying to make good law.

Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Shadow Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Cook. I want to associate myself and my hon. Friend the Member for Gordon with the comments of the Minister and the hon. Member for Rutland and Melton, particularly concerning the various Officers of the House who have worked so hard to make our deliberations so efficient and speedy. I also thank you, Mr. Cook, and Mr. Gale. It has been apparent to a number of us this afternoon that you have not been without personal discomfort and the fact that you have been prepared to endure that for the smooth running of the House is much appreciated.

Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Cook. I would like to associate myself with all the comments that have been made and the thanks that have been expressed. I particularly want to thank you, Mr. Cook, and Mr. Gale, and to remind the Committee that it was you who fearlessly opposed the law on handguns in the teeth of joint Front Bench support for that legislation. It is already apparent that you were right.

Photo of Frank Cook Frank Cook Labour, Stockton North

Order. That concludes the business of this Committee.

Bill, as amended, to be reported.

Committee rose at nine minutes past Five o'clock.