Would-be immigrant couple deny marriage not a love match

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A Luton college student has denied that she took part in a “marriage of convenience” so that her husband could come to England from Pakistan.

Sultana Butt of Ash Road, Luton, made the denial at an Upper Immigration and Asylum Tribunal at Birmingham as she appealed against a previous Home Office decision against Mr Syed Bukhari coming to the UK.

The tribunal was told that Mrs Butt, who is a German national, and Mr Bukhari were married in Pakistan last year after knowing each other for one year.

A marriage certificate was produced by Nasim Zia, representing Mrs Butt, who said the couple both spoke fluent Urdu.

Mrs Butt said she communicated regularly with her husband and that they had talked about starting a family.

They had also recently exchanged wedding anniversary cards.

“I can’t see why my husband can’t join me,” she said.

The Home Office representative, who did not want her name published, told the tribunal there was no evidence to suggest the marriage was a love match.

She suggested a “marriage of convenience” may have taken place – an allegation denied by both Mrs Butt and Mr Zia.

“Some of the evidence is in Urdu and they are telling us only what they want you want to know,” said the woman representative.

“There is no credible evidence to prove that the marriage was not of convenience – an attempt to bring the appellant to this country.”

Asked why Mrs Butt did not go and live in Germany with her husband she replied: “I prefer to live here because I want to complete a course I am taking at a college.”

Mrs Butt said her mother was dead and that her father had remarried in Pakistan.

The Home Office told tribunal judge John Row that the appeal should be rejected.

Mr Row said that he would make a decision at a later date.