The Irish government has released new guidelines, in an attempt to stop “sham marriages” between eastern European women based in Ireland and non-European Union (EU) nationals.
The proposal comes after intense lobbying from many EU countries who have spoken out against the abuse of Irish immigration laws and their concerns that these “sham marriages” are a “security threat” enabling terrorists to be able to travel freely in the EU.
Last year, Latvia asked Ireland to legislate tougher measures to combat the fake marriages. Last month, Latvian officials expressed their frustration to the Irish Times over the slow response from the Irish government to address the issue.
“In spite of all efforts of the Latvian and other EU states’ embassies in Dublin, the feedback from competent Irish authorities is minimal,” stated a briefing paper released earlier this year by the Latvian ministry for foreign affairs.
In the scams, men from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and some African states recruit eastern European women for marriage offering them over $4,000.
Besides new identification requirements, the guidelines also place restrictions on the use of interpreters and the number of people admitted to a registrar’s office.