Search Legislation

Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Marriage abuse for immigration purposes

16.The Act contains procedural measures to increase the effectiveness of existing provisions in the Immigration Rules to prevent the abuse of the immigration system by those who are prepared to enter into marriage simply as a means to obtain settlement in the United Kingdom. Registrars will be given the power to request evidence of name, age, marital status and nationality from couples. This will be underpinned by a power for the registrar to refuse to give authority for the marriage where the registrar is not satisfied that a person is free, legally, to contract the marriage. The existing procedure under which a superintendent registrar may authorise a marriage by a certificate with a licence is to be abolished. At the same time, the existing notice period for a superintendent registrar to issue a certificate without a licence is to be reduced from 21 days to 15 days. In addition, notice will need to be given personally by each party before the superintendent registrar in the registration district where they reside, and the notice will have to state their nationality. A duty is also to be placed on registrars to report to the Home Office those marriages suspected of having been arranged for the purpose of evading immigration controls.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources