Failure to implement sham marriage law prevented Irish people marrying
Denis Naughten TD has welcomed moves to address the prohibition on Irish citizens marrying a spouse from outside the EU, following the introduction of a temporary solution.
“A temporary provision has now been put in place pending the resolution of a dispute with civil registrars on the implementation of the new sham marriage law,” stated Denis Naughten.
“On foot of my intervention with the Tanaiste last week, a temporary procedure has now been put in place to allow people marrying third country nationals to have an interview to verify that it is a genuine rather than a sham marriage.
“The failure to facilitate these interviews, which are provided for under the Civil Registration (amendment) Act 2014, was effectively banning Irish people from availing of their Constitutional right to get married.
“This was just not good enough and I’m glad that a solution to address this aspect of the law has now been found, which will not only benefit genuine couples but also close off a gaping loophole which was facilitating sham marriages.
“While there was no immigration benefit to a person from outside the EU marrying an Irish person, they were caught up in a dispute with Civil Registrars implementing the provisions of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014 which was passed by the Oireachtas to address the serious issue of sham marriages,” stated Denis Naughten.
“The issue of sham marriages has been something that I have been very critical of for many years and I support this legislation. The marriage loophole involved non-Irish EU citizens marrying persons from outside the EU. Because of EU Treaty Rights for non-Irish EU citizens, their spouses are automatically guaranteed legal residency in the EU State where the EU citizen resides.
“In the last 4 weeks with same sex couples given the right to marry for the first time, it was completely unacceptable that both same sex and opposite sex couples wishing to marry, where one partner is from outside the EU, were having their Constitutional right denied to them,” concluded Denis Naughten.