Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 12, 2021 (SKNIS): Marriages of convenience, otherwise known as sham marriages, are on the radar of the Department of Immigration in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Sham marriages refer to any marital arrangement entered into without a real marital relationship. It is commonly done by persons seeking citizenship of another country.
On Tuesday’s (May 12, 2021) edition of Leadership Matters, Chief Immigration Officer Merclyn Hughes noted that the practice is one of the areas that will be addressed through legislation.
“These are one of the things that we are looking at in terms of the Immigration Act to be reviewed and for amendments …,” Mrs. Hughes stated. “Those are some of the recommendations that we want to make so that when these situations occur, we will have teeth, we will have the [legal] grounds to stand on to investigate.”
The Enforcement Unit of the Immigration Department will help to investigate these matters once the amendments are passed in the National Assembly.
The Chief Immigration Officer revealed that members in the Enforcement Unit are conducting regular checks to “manage the large number of persons” who overstayed their time in the country or who are working without the relevant approvals.
Members of the public are encouraged to share information with the department on suspicious activities, particularly illegal entry into the country.