As the new UK coalition Government works hard to introduce a raft of measures that encompass its ‘Big Society’ promise, changes are underway in the UK’s immigration policy.
With a general focus on simplification and reduced bureaucracy, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) is displaying the same characteristics as its plans to abolish the Certificate of Approval Scheme relating to UK marriage visa and UK partner visa applications in particular.
As it stands, any non-European migrant that is already in the UK and under the conditions of UK immigration control is required to gain a Certificate of Approval prior to getting married or undertaking a civil partnership for same sex couples. The only exception to this is if the couple is getting married in the Anglican Church.
On 26th July 2010 the Government announced that this required for a Certificate of Approval would cease following a declaration by the UK courts that the scheme is not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, specifically Article 14.
In this respect, the Certificate of Approval is no longer considered an effective method of preventing bogus marriages, and so it is expected to be abolished at some time in late 2010 or early 2011. The scheme will remain in place until this date is confirmed and the requirement for non-European migrants getting married in the UK and making marriage visa or partner visa applications must still comply with the scheme. Further updates will be available on www.marriagevisahelp.com as the details are released.