It makes sense to reject a sham marriage (marriage of convenience) arranged solely for the purpose of admitting foreigners to EU on false claims of "anknytningsperson" (loosely speaking "connected person").

It is not legal to pay a person to become an "anknytningsperson" and the Swedish authorities have been very clear that it is not legal.

I've tried to report a so-called sham marriage that was approved solely for the purpose of admitting foreigners to Sweden. I spoke with the police, the immigration office and the immigration court, the tax authorities and they say that the case is not unique but that they don't have experience.

The background is that some of my acquaintances started to fabricate and sell false documents which they have registered at the tax authorities and at the immigration offices.

In one case, the lady got paid SEK 100 000 (what kind of money is that?) and the couple didn't live together but the lady registered at the foreigner's address for some time and they registered an intention of getting married with the Swedish tax authories to fake that they had a relation. Now in fact the couple was already married by convenience in Iran to begin with. They had not met before the marriage.

There are several court cases where these cases are called crimes against the law of foreigners ("brott mot utlänningslagen").

The law is clear that it is not legal, and the immigration authorities even answered that if it is a marriage of convenience then the application for immigration is not legal, so the case seems clear but still the falsification has been approved which is not legal.

Is there any advice what to do to complain?

The Swedish criminal law is available in English here.

The prosecutor agreed that one relevant jurisdiction is:

A person who gives untrue information about his identity or about other than his own affairs in a certificate or other document, or for the sake of appearances prepares a document concerning a legal document shall, if the act jeopardises proof, be sentenced for false certification to a fine or imprisonment for at most six months. If the crime is considered gross because it involves misuse of official position or for other reasons, imprisonment for at most two years shall be imposed. A person who invokes or otherwise uses a false document referred to in the first paragraph, shall, if the act jeopardises proof, be sentenced, as there provided, for using a false document.

Recent news about sham marriages is clear that it is not legal and the penalty is 3 years in prison in the UK.

There was also a BBC article about sham marriages recently.

  • 1
    Ahh, the so called new Swedish family... Oct 5, 2015 at 11:05
  • 4
    What does the second paragraph ("false documents") have to do with the marriages of convenience? If you know people who are forging documents, you should be reporting that to law enforcement as well - that seems more likely to get their attention. But I don't see how the two are related. Oct 5, 2015 at 13:45
  • 2
    @NateEldredge: Not all "marriages of convenience" involve forged documents; some people may be conducting such marriages "honestly," or at least legally. But many do.
    – Libra
    Oct 5, 2015 at 15:35
  • 2
    @Programmer400 a lie is not the same as a forgery.
    – phoog
    Dec 22, 2015 at 5:01
  • 2
    Why would you be so adamant about reporting them?
    – ohwilleke
    May 22, 2018 at 17:24

2 Answers 2


As someone with ties to the "foreign" community in the United States, I see these "marriages of convenience" from time to time. In their most "legitimate" form, the couple will move to the same address and "technically" live together, but without consummating the marriage so that it can later be legally annulled. American immigration authorities counter this by asking each spouse about the other's underwear (literally!).

Some "marriages of convenience" are legal, insofar as they technically conform to the marriage documents, e.g. regarding "co habitation," even while violating the spirit of the law. Others don't. Your best chance of attacking such "marriages" is not regarding the marriage itself (basically only the couple can decide what constitutes a valid marriage), but rather "compliance" with the marriage documents. That's something any law enforcement officer can understand.

  • 3
    Consummation of marriage still has legal implications today? WTF Oct 8, 2015 at 14:49
  • 1
    @CodesInChaos: That's why American immigration authorities ask "suspect" couples about each other's underwear.
    – Libra
    Oct 8, 2015 at 14:56
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    @CodesInChaos I'm sure a couple could legitimately marry without having sex, and possibly even without seeing each other's underwear. Consummation of the marriage can't be a requirement, but of course it is one factor they look at. They also ask about toothbrushes, apparently. A friend of mine told me about her interview which occurred as she was suckling her and her husband's second child. As for annulment, that is a religious concept, so consummation or lack thereof can be a significant factor there.
    – phoog
    Nov 21, 2015 at 14:44
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    @CodesInChaos: It is an indication that a marriage is "real" and wasn't performed to give someone legal rights they otherwise wouldn't have.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 22, 2015 at 8:16

Aside from being a concerned citizen, one may wonder why you care so much but for some sort of personal grudge against these people...that said, you've done your civic duty. It's not up to the citizenry to prove criminal cases on behalf of the state. They have the complaint (by you) of criminal activity. Some jurisdictions (like the U.S.) investigate and prosecute marriages of convenience with vigor, while others don't really care. It's sort of a victimless crime, aside from the fact that someone gets to become a citizen without jumping through hoops. The U.S. has a huge problem with illegal immigration and all the social issues that follow. I'm not familiar with the Swedish government's stance on whether or not this is really a problem.

As far as advice, I would say not to worry about it. You've done your part. It's up to the government to do their part now. If you don't think they're doing their jobs, you can complain to the bureaucratic higher ups. That isn't something I'd recommend, but that is just my opinion. It's your right.

  • 1
    Now Mohammad from Iran has a false identity and an open route to the U.S. Why should you care? I knew the people personally. And it keeps happening. What should I say? "Here is my girlfriend Maria and by the way she is also married to Mohammad in Iran solely to grant Mohammad citizenship." You missed these points: Asking how the person got his visa in Iran. That should be impossible. Also ask how Mohammad met his "girlfriend" the first time. And ask why Mohammad thinks he should have a Swedish citizenship. There is no reason, only fraud and I don't like fraud. Oct 19, 2015 at 17:54
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    @Programmer400, all valid points. My point is only that you've done your part by reporting it. What more can you do is not really a question of law, but of opinion, since you have already taken steps to quell the problem. The Swedish government gets to decide how invasive they want to be when assessing peoples personal lives; it seems not too invasive. For many centuries most marriages were not of love but of some economic or political convenience. If both people agree, and want to be married, it's very difficult to prove,hence the government is willing to put their relationship under scrutiny
    – gracey209
    Oct 24, 2015 at 15:35
  • It is easy to prove that the couple did not live at the same address for several years. Oct 13, 2018 at 19:31

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