Minister was correct to revoke residence permit over marriage of convenience, court rules
Posted on 26th January 2023 at 21:50
It was reasonable for the Minister to conclude man had furnished false and misleading documentation, says judge
An Egyptian has lost a High Court challenge to a decision to revoke his permit to live and work in Ireland as a result of a marriage of convenience.
The man arrived here in 2008 and lived here illegally. In December 2011, he met a Lithuanian woman who, it was claimed, had been here since the previous August.
The following June they got married. On the basis of his marriage to a European Union citizen, in January 2013 he was granted a visa allowing him to live and work in Ireland for five years.
In 2017, his solicitor sought to have his residency permit continued although he disclosed he was now estranged from his wife.
The Minister for Justice told him his visa was being revoked on the basis that it had been obtained through a marriage of convenience.
He brought a High Court challenge claiming the Minister had not discharged the burden of proof to show it was a marriage of convenience. It was also claimed there was a failure to apply fair procedures or to provide reasons for the decision. The Minister denied the claims.
Ms Justice Marguerite Bolger dismissed the challenge.
She said the man had claimed the Minister had failed to consider a personal letter explaining the history of his relationship with his now-estranged wife. The judge noted that, on his own account, he and his partner were together for a very short period of time before they decided to get married at a time when he was residing in the State illegally.
He also said they had decided to marry because his religion and culture precluded him from having a girlfriend.
Other than a very brief account of their lives from when his spouse stopped working sometime after the marriage until they separated in December 2017 or January 2018, he “gave no information whatsoever about the married life he claims to have shared with his spouse for some four years”, the judge said.
It was reasonable for the Minister to conclude, on the evidence and information available to her, that he had furnished false and misleading documentation in 2013, the judge said.
She also found the Minister had not improperly imposed a burden of proof on the man, as was claimed, or had failed to discharge the burden that rested on her, the judge said.
As long as the Minister had regard to the submissions the man had made, as she clearly had done in this case, and gave sufficient reasons for the decision to enable the person concerned to understand the basis for it, that was sufficient, she added.
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