December 4, 2023

Immigration Marriage

Feel Good With Immigration

Indian national suspected of ‘sham marriage’ fails in bid to have residence card refusal overturned

The woman – who first arrived here in 2006 on a student visa – married the Latvian man one week after the expiry of her visa and seven months after they first met

This follows High Court judge, Mr Justice Cian Ferriter dismissing the couple’s judicial review challenge against the Minister’s order.

Mr Justice Ferriter ruled that the woman and the Latvian man she married in 2012 have not made out a case in unlawfulness in the Minister’s decision to refuse the woman the residence card in 2018.

The woman – who first arrived here in 2006 on a student visa – married the Latvian man on September 19th 2012 one week after the expiry of her visa and seven months after they first met in February 2012 while they moved in together in April 2012.

As a result of the marriage the woman was allowed to remain as she was a family member of an EU citizen residing here and was granted her residence card in April 2013.

In September 2017, the woman applied for a renewal of the residence card and in a voluntary interview under caution by members of the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) in February 2018, the Latvian man admitted that “the marriage was a sham marriage”.

The man admitted that he had not been in a real relationship with the woman and that he had married her to enable her to get visa papers and that they had not lived together.

He also admitted that, during the currency of the marriage to the woman, he had been in a relationship with a Latvian woman and that she had become pregnant following his marriage to the Indian woman.

The child was born in August 2013, making it clear that the child was conceived during the course of the Latvian man’s marriage to the Indian woman.

The man told the GNIB that the Indian woman said to him when they first met that they could get married so that she could get a visa.

In answer to a question as to whether he accepted that his marriage the first applicant was a marriage of convenience, he answered “yes”.

As a result, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service Division of the Department of Justice informed the Indian woman that the Minister proposed to refuse the residence card on the basis that she was involved in a marriage of convenience.

In response, solicitors for the Indian woman asserted that the marriage was genuine.

The written submission enclosed a signed statement from the Latvian man which asserted that “this relationship was truly based on love and our marriage is genuine”.

The statement asserted that the man cheated on his wife with his ex-girlfriend and that the Indian woman found out about this and the birth of the Latvian man’s child which “understandably started the trouble in the relationship.”

The statement stated that they started living separately at the end of 2013 and that they tried to get back together in around 2016.

The documentation provided included evidence of joint travel to Latvia in February and April 2016, documents evidencing the applicants’ joint assessment for tax purposes in 2014 and wedding photographs and various letters of support.

However, the Dept refused the residence card in July 2018 after concluding that the marriage was not a genuine marriage based on the Latvian man’s admissions to the GNIB.

In dismissing the woman’s judicial review challenge, Mr Justice Ferriter has found that there was no failure of the Minister, through her official, to properly engage with the evidence stating that “I do not believe there has been any want of fair procedures made out”.

Mr Justice Ferriter stated that the accelerated nature of the relationship, the fact that the Latvian man had fathered a child by another woman during the course of the relatively short marriage relationship and was in a relationship with that woman – along with the absence of a body of evidence supporting an ongoing intimate emotional relationship between the applicants, such as texts, photos, regular romantic social outings – very much supported the account of the marriage given by the Lativan man at interview.