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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington

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Home Office Should Review Sutton Notice Of Marriage Decision -- Brake

February 4, 2005 12:02 AM

Tom Brake MP for Carshalton and Wallington calls for the Home Office to review the legislation on 'sham marriages' and specifically the provisions concerning designated offices for giving notice of marriage.

Mr Brake will table an Early Day Motion and send a letter to the Home Office urging them to reconsider their decision to strike Sutton's Register Office off the list of offices eligible to take notice of marriage of non-British and non-EU citizens and for compensation for the loss of revenue.

Marion Vidler, Superintendent Registrar at the Sutton Register Office explains,

"The new legislation will require those non-British or non-EU citizens who are subject to immigration control to apply to the Home Office for a certificate of Marriage Approval. The certificate must then be taken to a designated Register Office in order for the notice to be taken. The cost of the certificate will be £135 for each person. If one of the parties is a British or EU citizen they will not need a certificate but will be required to attend the same designated office with their partner to give their notice of marriage".

Mr Brake said,

"There is no evidence in Sutton of a problem with sham marriages. The Sutton Register Office should be allowed to take notice of everyone's marriage and not be forced to discriminate against non-British or non-EU citizens".

"If the Home Office will not reconsider this part of the legislation, it should compensate those offices that have been excluded for their loss of income, not only for the notices of marriage but also subsequent decreases in marriage business".