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Immigration via marriage is once again under scanner in Britain after the British Broadcasting Corporation aired the bogus marriage registration films last week. With the general election due next spring and the rise in unemployment to the government may try to revoke similar plans of 2005 where foreigners needed permission to get married in the UK.
Thursday night the BBC aired an undercover investigation on violation of the system on prime time. The film showed the registrar’s office in the London where a Pakistani man was applying to marry a Lithuanian woman. Neither spoke much English, let alone each other’s language. The former disappeared the moment the superintendent registrar confronted the couple. The film also exhibited a gang in Birmingham with a significant number of people of sub-continental origin.
In 2005 the Home office had made mandatory for the foreigners to take permission to get married in the UK. The stand was to deny the permission if the person did not enjoy right of residence. But later the House of the Lords ruled against this calling it a breach of human rights.
Immigration minister Phil Woolas said the government regretted the Lords’ ruling and was looking at the law once again. The reduction in the cases of bogus marriages after stipulation of the act in 2005 till 2008 is a strong reason for reconsideration.
More than 3,500 such cases were registered in 2004. It dropped down to below 500 in 2005. In 2008, 344 cases were reported by marriage registrars. In the 11 months up to November 2009, the figure had increased to 529.
Number of unemployed have crossed 2.4 million due to slow down and global recession. Worried on economic front the Labour government has been taking steps to discourage the immigration of less skilled workers from non EU countries.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) of the Home Office has been suggestions to filter the non required workers entering via various channels. Revision of post study work route was one such step. The list of skill requirement was also revised in September 2008 by MAC.
The list mentions occupations and skills that are in short supply in UK, which enables employers to recruit skilled workers from India and other countries outside the European Union in 2008.
The revised list included skilled chefs, secondary school teachers of Maths and Sciences, consultants and senior specialist nurses, some engineering occupations, including civil and chemical engineers. but was harsh on the IT sector the strong hold of the Indian talent. Non-EU workers can only be allowed to work in the shortage occupations
The government earlier had also introduced qualifying conditions for granting Post Study work route under part of Tier 1 of the points-based scheme to attract and retain highly-qualified and skilled workers. In the last academic year, 42,000 students from outside the European Economic Area obtained the visas to stay on after obtaining a degree.
A survey for the UK Border Agency of 1,564 graduates given the visas found about half worked in professional occupations, and "significant" numbers were in less skilled employment. The argument was that they might be taking away the job opportunities of British nationals.
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Giving notice to marry at a Register OfficeFollowing are the excerpts from the registrar's site to provide information to those seeking marriage in U.K.
If you are subject to immigration control, you and the person you plan to marry will need to give notice to marry at a designated Register Office.
All the Registration Offices in Scotland and Northern Ireland are designated Registration Offices. 76 Register Offices in England and Wales have been selected as designated Register offices. A list of these 76 offices is available on the General Register Office website and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate website.
In England and Wales, both of you must have at least seven days residence in a registration district before you can give your notices to marry. These notices can be given at any designated Register Office, but both of you must attend together. You will need to bring evidence of your names, addresses, ages, nationalities, and if either of you has been married before, your marital status.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, notice to marry can be given by post, so you will not normally have to attend in person.
You must surrender your certificate of approval to the Registrar when you given your notice to marry.
In England and Wales, once your notice to marry has been accepted, the wedding can take place at any Register Office or approved premises, or at any church or religious building registered for marriage in the district of residence where you or the person you plan to marry live.
After you have given notice to marry, you have to wait 15 full days before your wedding can take place (14 days in Scotland and Northern Ireland).
You will need to make an appointment to give notice at the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Register Office,
1 Spring Terrace
Please telephone for an appointment on 020 8940 2853 or 020 8940 2651, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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