To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2021 to Question 142848, whether her Department holds data on the number of cases of marriage by deception as opposed to sham marriages that were reported in the UK in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020; what the average time taken was for her Department to respond to those reports in each of those years; and in how many of those cases the perpetrator of marriage by deception was removed from the UK in each of those years.
Whilst Home Office Immigration Enforcement publishes information relating to the number of allegations it receives each quarter, allegations relating specifically to marriage fraud are not reported upon separately and it is not possible to provide information relating to the number of these allegations received in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Where a relationship has broken down and the UK sponsor of the relationship has reported this to the Home Office, action may be taken to cancel the former partner’s leave to remain.
In some of the cases where relationship breakdown is reported, an allegation may also be raised indicating the reason for the breakdown is because the UK sponsor became aware it was deceptive at the outset. Whilst figures are collated for the number of cases in which leave is cancelled on account of the breakdown of a relationship, the Home Office does not differentiate between the causes of the breakdown and, as such, there is no reporting which captures allegations of deception separately from the overall number of relationship breakdowns declared to the Home Office.
Any British citizen who believes they are a victim of immigration marriage fraud, and believes they were deceived into marriage in order for their partner to obtain some form of leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, can make a request for this to be investigated and action taken where appropriate.
In some cases it can be difficult to establish a person entered into a relationship in order to abuse the immigration system. However, all allegations will be assessed and investigated further where appropriate.