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Visitor deceived authorities by failing to disclose relationship on entry

Another case here that serves as a warning against attempting to arrive on a visitor visa to marry an EU national while not telling the Immigration Officer that this is in fact your reason for entering the UK.

Despite “some 500 pages” of evidence substantiating the genuineness of the relationship at the marriage interview, the Claimant’s withholding the true reason for his coming to the UK from the Immigration Officer at Luton Airport proved fatal to his case that he did not enter the country by deception.

An interesting point is that apparently it can in some cases be proper for an Immigration Officer to enquire about the sex life of his interviewee to establish the genuineness of a relationship.

  1. The one exception concerns the evidence that Officer Hale asked the Claimant whether he and Ms Marcincinova had had sex. When that question was posed, the solicitor for the Claimant objected to it in the firmest of terms. Ms Jones submits that such questioning was contrary to Home Office policy which includes the following advice to officers: “You must avoid asking inappropriate questions, for example, about their sex life”.
  2. I have no doubt, certainly in the majority of cases, that to ask a couple at a marriage interview about the details of their sex life would be unjustified and unnecessary. But to enquire simply whether their relationship was or was not a sexual one may well be both pertinent and necessary to an interview about the genuineness of a relationship. The answer to such a question is unlikely to be decisive either way, but it may well be relevant. In my judgment, the Home Office policy does not prevent such a question; what it is aimed at is the asking of unnecessary questions about the details of their sexual relationship. I reject the complaint on this ground.”

With all due respect, there is strikingly little reasoning to support the judge’s conclusion that the policy is aimed at the asking of only unnecessary questions, rather than to protect the the dignity of the interviewee. The lack of any exceptions such as the word ‘unnecessary’ in the policy, and the stridency in which it is framed – “you must avoid” – suggest that the policy should prevent questions about the sex life of interviewees. Well that’s me stumped.

Source: Ait-Rabah, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 1099 (Admin) (12 May 2016)

Paul Erdunast
Paul Erdunast LLM student at Cambridge University. Formerly a full-time Education and Community Care Paralegal at Just for Kids Law, Intern at Hackney Community Law Centre and Legal Caseworker at the AIRE Centre. GDL graduate from City University. Previously studied Classics at Worcester College, Oxford. Interested in immigration, asylum and refugee law and policy.

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