A significant number of sham marriages have taken place after one of the parties has been issued with a deportation order, the Department of Justice has said. It says the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service has reported an increase in such cases.
A spokesman for the department said its position was that marriage “does not of itself negate a deportation order or automatically alter an unlawful immigration status to a lawful one”.
He added: “This is based on existing Irish and European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence. Generally, unless there are particular exceptional circumstances in an individual case, the Minister will not revoke a deportation order solely on the basis that the person concerned has married someone who is lawfully resident in the State.”
The Garda established Operation Vantage in August 2015 to investigate illegal immigration and identify marriages of convenience. A spokesman for the Garda said there had been 58 arrests made since its establishment and that the operation had been extremely successful.
“Since the inception of Operation Vantage, a notable decrease of notifications of intention to marry have been received between EU and non-EU persons [excluding Irish nationals] compared with previous years,” the spokesman said. There have been 58 arrests relating to offences arising out of Operation Vantage to date. There has been a significant amount of marriage cancellations by the parties involved following inquiries and investigation by Operation Vantage,” the spokesman said.