Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (558)

Róisín Shortall


558. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when he intends to address the issue of marriages of convenience by way of legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8406/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Marriage of convenience is a persistent problem and there is no single remedy, either legislative or administrative. The constitutional protection afforded to the institution of marriage makes the possibility of effective criminal sanctions highly problematic. However it is intended, in the Immigration Residence and Protection Bill, which I hope to republish later this year, to make a number of provisions that would make it more difficult for persons engaging in a marriage of convenience to benefit from it in immigration terms. My colleague, the Minister for Social Protection, is likewise in the process of looking at possible changes to the Civil Registration Act in order to make such marriages more difficult to contract. These legislative steps should contribute to reducing the incentive to seek to engage in such marriages.