Six people have been arrested after attempting to fraudulently obtain UK spouse visas.
An operation overseen by the UK Border Agency took place over two days and saw a number of officers sent to act on intelligence received about some suspicious weddings due to take place at registration offices in Gretna, Langholm and Moffat.
In Langholm, a 23-year-old Pakistani man was arrested ahead of his plans to marry a Polish woman. Meanwhile, in Gretna, two Pakistani men were arrested – one groom and one false witness – after the younger of the two was found to be attempting to enter into a sham marriage with a Lithuanian woman.
Another Pakistani man was also arrested in Gretna ahead of his plans to marry a Polish woman.
The arrests in Moffat focused on the attempted marriage of a 32-year-old Nigerian woman to a Lithuanian man. A 23-year-old man who was acting as a witness to the marriage was also arrested.
Adam Scarcliffe from the UKBA commented: “Anyone in the UK illegally and seeking to evade our immigration laws should take heed of this latest operation, and expect to be found by us and removed from the UK.
“The UKBA is working with colleagues at registration offices throughout Scotland and receives intelligence from a wide variety of sources. We will not hesitate to act against those who mistakenly believe that they can abuse the immigration system.”
The individuals who were arrested were all found to have overstayed their UK visas. They are now being detained while the proper steps are taken to remove them from the country.
UK spouse visas can be accessed legally but there are a number of requirements that need to be met by the individuals concerned, not least of which is the fact that the marriage must be genuine. A good immigration advisor will be able to help genuine couples tick off the necessary boxes and assist in a smooth transition for both partners.