Marriage migration is a controversial and problematic issue in the UK as elsewhere in Europe. This timely analysis is a comprehensive examination of the regulation of marriage migration into the UK. With international relevance, the book uses the analysis to examine the relationship between government priorities and the dynamics of transnational family life. The book is one of the first to scrutinise the control of UK marriage migration after 1997 and explores the dilemmas faced by the post-1997 government in managing this form of migration in a changed domestic and international environment. Using high-quality sources from across the political spectrum, it analyses regulatory decisions made by government, the judiciary and the visa service, and suggests that there is an unofficial and unarticulated hierarchy predicated on assumptions and beliefs about acceptable marriages. Finally, the book establishes a principled basis for the future regulation of marriage migration.
Helena Wray worked as a solicitor for several years before becoming a law lecturer and academic. She has published widely in academic journals on British immigration law and policy.
’Wray is very thorough and organized in her analysis, and recurring references to issues dealt with in other chapters of the book and conclusions after every chapter make the book clear to read and follow, despite the fact that the analysis is travelling through decades and institutions. Being so clear and consistent in language and structure, this book offers interesting insights for both legal scholars and scholars outside the field of law.’ Nordic Journal of Migration Research 'This is an important and valuable book, on a topical issue that will interest academics in and outside law, and in and outside of the United Kingdom.' Betty de Hart, Radboud University, The Netherlands 'A vivid and incisive account based on meticulous research. Helena Wray traces the development of British marriage immigration policies, paying special attention to their race and gender assumptions and implications. This insightful study will be invaluable to lawyers, migration scholars and historians.' Marie-Bénédicte Dembour, University of Sussex, UK 'This excellent study asks searching questions about the right balance between fair and fast immigration regulation and the legitimate expectations of couples who decided to get married but need to cross national borders to live together. While earlier regimes of control deliberately interfered in the human rights of applicants, current methods of intervention continue to raise important concerns.' Werner Menski, University of London, UK 'In sum, this is a book in which an apparently narrow subject matter - marriage migration into the UK - is shown to have far broader significance by an empirically-grounded discussion which crosses disciplinary boundaries. It situates legal developments in social history, contains strong political and policy arguments, and speaks to key debates in the study of migration, gender and ethnicity. As such, it deserves a broad audience.' Journal of Immigration Asylum and Nationality Law