News Archive - January 2011

UK fiancé visa sham exposed

07 Jan 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A UK fiancé visa sham has been exposed by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in Peterborough.

Irina Iljina, a 22-year-old Latvian woman, has pleaded guilty to sham marriage offences regarding an Indian national.

Parminder Singh, also 22, had a valid UK visa for a working holiday only. However, he had hoped that his intended marriage to EU national Iljina would help him acquire a more permanent UK visa.

Instead, the UKBA caught the Latvian woman in bed with another man the day before the marriage between herself and Singh was due to take place.

Their relationship was already thought of as somewhat suspicious, but UKBA assistant director Sam Bullimore explained that the discovery of Iljina in bed with another man cast more significant doubts.

"It's reasonable to say that the compromising circumstances in which Iljina was arrested cast further serious doubt on what was an already dubious relationship," explained Mr Bullimore.

He added that the agency makes it its business to "identify the organisers who profit from and fuel the demand for sham marriages".

Churches and registrars also work closely with UK immigration officials to help identify suspected false marriages.

The couple came under suspicion from Peterborough Registrar Office, which they visited on November 30th to arrange their wedding for December 17th.

People observing the couple noted a lack of interaction and a limited knowledge of one another, prompting the registrar to contact UK immigration officials.

Both Iljina and Singh pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to breach UK immigration laws. Sing also admitted a charge of perjury at Peterborough Crown Court.

The pair will receive sentencing on January 28th.