Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Visitor deceived authorities by failing to disclose relationship on entry


Older content is locked

A great deal of time and effort goes into producing the information on Free Movement, become a member of Free Movement to get unlimited access to all articles, and much, much more


By becoming a member of Free Movement, you not only support the hard-work that goes into maintaining the website, but get access to premium features;

  • Single login for personal use
  • FREE downloads of Free Movement ebooks
  • Access to all Free Movement blog content
  • Access to all our online training materials
  • Access to our busy forums
  • Downloadable CPD certificates

Another case here that serves as a warning against attempting to arrive on a visitor visa to marry an EU national while not telling the Immigration Officer that this is in fact your reason for entering the UK.

Despite “some 500 pages” of evidence substantiating the genuineness of the relationship at the marriage interview, the Claimant’s withholding the true reason for his coming to the UK from the Immigration Officer at Luton Airport proved fatal to his case that he did not enter the country by deception.

An interesting point is that apparently it can in some cases be proper for an Immigration Officer to enquire about the sex life of his interviewee to establish the genuineness of a relationship.

  1. The one exception concerns the evidence that Officer Hale asked the Claimant whether he and Ms Marcincinova had had sex. When that question was posed, the solicitor for the Claimant objected to it in the firmest of terms. Ms Jones submits that such questioning was contrary to Home Office policy which includes the following advice to officers: “You must avoid asking inappropriate questions, for example, about their sex life”.
  2. I have no doubt, certainly in the majority of cases, that to ask a couple at a marriage interview about the details of their sex life would be unjustified and unnecessary. But to enquire simply whether their relationship was or was not a sexual one may well be both pertinent and necessary to an interview about the genuineness of a relationship. The answer to such a question is unlikely to be decisive either way, but it may well be relevant. In my judgment, the Home Office policy does not prevent such a question; what it is aimed at is the asking of unnecessary questions about the details of their sexual relationship. I reject the complaint on this ground.”

With all due respect, there is strikingly little reasoning to support the judge’s conclusion that the policy is aimed at the asking of only unnecessary questions, rather than to protect the the dignity of the interviewee. The lack of any exceptions such as the word ‘unnecessary’ in the policy, and the stridency in which it is framed – “you must avoid” – suggest that the policy should prevent questions about the sex life of interviewees. Well that’s me stumped.

Source: Ait-Rabah, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 1099 (Admin) (12 May 2016)

Relevant articles chosen for you
Picture of Paul Erdunast

Paul Erdunast

Paul Erdunast is a barrister at Temple Garden Chambers in London (https://tgchambers.com/member-profile/paul-erdunast/). Prior to this he was Legal and Parliamentary Officer at ILPA, where he delivered immigration law training and spoke at conferences. In previous jobs he lectured on asylum law and provided EU migrants with immigration advice.