New measure in the battle against marriages of convenience
On 14 November 2013, Maggie De Block, Annemie Turtelboom and Joëlle Milquet have approved a new measure in the fight against marriages of convenience, that should tackle 'shopping' between municipalities.
Today, civil officers can report and request presumptions and attempts to marriages of convenience to the Immigrants Office. In practice, not many civil officers use this possibility, which stimulates 'couples' to shop between municipalities, if their request for marriage has been denied in a first municipality.
A new Executive Decree would obligate civil officers to record certain information on suspicions and refusals of marriages of convenience in the population register. Doing so, their colleages of all other Belgian municipalities and the Public Prosecutor would be able to - and bear the duty to - consult this information via the National Register, tackling this shopping phenomenon.
Following information will be subject to registration:
- the release of the acknowledgment, in case the marriage is associated with residencial benefits;
- the refusal of drafting the certificate of declaration of marriage;
- the postponement of the execution of marriage or recording of the declaration of legal cohabitation;
- The refusal of execution of marriage or recording of declaration of legal cohabitation.
The new measure should enter into force by the end of this year.