There is a reported increase in marriages for convenience in Antigua and Barbuda and Chief Immigration Officer Katrina Yearwood says it’s a challenge for her already struggling department
A marriage of convenience is a marriage contracted for reasons other than that of love and commitment. Instead, such a marriage is entered into for personal gain, or some other sort of strategic purpose, such as an immigration legal status in one country
Yearwood says immigration officials have been crafting measures to effectively respond to this increasing trend.
This week, 25 officers from the Immigration Department and the police force – along with their colleagues from Montserrat took part in the International Immigration Border Security Training.
The event was a partnership between the UK government and the immigration department and the increase in marriages of convenience is among the challenges the department addressed
“In recent times, the department has seen an increase in what we call MOC or marriages for convenience. The training is beneficial for the officers because they are going to have an in-depth understanding and appreciation for behavioral assessment, enhancing our interview technique and so all of that will be assisting us to combat and detect marriages of convenience,” she said.
The training also covered the main immigration risks and threats within the Eastern Caribbean, and offer tools and guidance so participants can adequately address those risks.