17 September 2010
Vicars trained to spot sham UK Visa marriages
Around a dozen Church of England vicars were trained in how to spot fraudulent weddings by officers from the UK Border Agency yesterday.
During the half-day training session the vicars were given tips by UK Immigration officers on how to establish whether a relationship is genuine or not.
A sham marriage typically involves someone from outside the EU marrying someone from Europe as means to be allowed to stay in the UK with the right to work and claim benefits.
Clergymen and women from the Diocese of Chelmsford also received information on how to spot fake identity documents and household bills by specialist forgery staff from the UK Border Agency.
Tony Erne, deputy area director for the UK Border Agency, said: “We understand that it is not always easy to spot fake documents, and that is why we are happy to work with the Diocese of Chelmsford to provide some basic training.”
The training sessions follows dozens of operations by the UK Border Agency in the last few months to stop suspected sham UK Visa marriages from taking place.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their UK Visa applications to the British Embassy.