Couple who entered marriage of convenience expelled from UK

Theresa May has been given permission to expel a Lithuanian woman and a Pakistani man who entered into a marriage of convenience in the UK.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 9th July 2016, 9:11 am
Updated Saturday, 9th July 2016, 10:17 am
A couple who entered into a marriage of convenience have been expelled from the UK. Picture: PA
A couple who entered into a marriage of convenience have been expelled from the UK. Picture: PA

The Home Secretary had been taken to the Court of Session in Edinburgh by lawyers acting for Violeta Sadvoska, 33, and Saleem Malik, 30, who appealed a decision made by immigration judges for them to leave.

Ms Sadvoska worked as a cleaner in Edinburgh and was allowed to stay in Britain, where she had lived for seven years, because she was a European Union citizen. Her partner Mr Malik had arrived in the UK on a student visa in May 2011 which expired in 2013.

Immigration judges ruled the pair – whose marriage ceremony in Edinburgh was stopped by UK Border Agency staff in April 2014 – had engaged in fraudulent behaviour.

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Mrs May ordered their expulsion on the ground they were manipulating immigration laws. But their solicitors said the couple had been left “pressured” by “aggressive” interviewing by UK Border Agency staff.

In a written judgement issued by the Court of Session yesterday, Scotland’s most senior judge, the Lord President, Lord Carloway, ruled the judges acted correctly.

The judgement revealed the pair had met at a disco in 2012. On March 25, 2014, the couple published a notice of their intention to marry on 17 April at Leith Registry Office in Edinburgh.

Lord Carloway wrote that during the wedding ceremony, UK Border Agency disrupted the event and interviewed the couple. He wrote: “They were cautioned that ‘you are not obliged to say anything but anything you do say will be recorded and may be used in evidence at a later stage’.

“They were asked whether they understood the caution. They said they did. They were asked if they were happy to be interviewed in English. Both assented to that process and stated that they understood the officer.

“The first appellant was unable to say where the second appellant was from. She could not name his parents or any of his brothers and sisters.

“She stated that her sisters had not attended the wedding because one had a baby and the other was working, her mother was not at the wedding because she was old (aged 59) and she had not told her mother of the wedding.”

And he said Mr Malik did not know the name of his wife-to-be’s mother.

The immigration judges said that because of the discrepancies in the interviews, they concluded the couple had entered into a marriage of convenience.

Lawyers acting for the couple went to the Court of Session earlier this year.

Lord Carloway said their legal teams argued their human rights had been breached because of the pressured nature of their interviews. He also stated the pair’s lawyers said that they were both in a loving relationship.

However, Lord Carloway ruled there was enough evidence to prove they had entered into a marriage of convenience. He also ruled that their appeals be thrown out.