Are sham marriages illegal in Singapore? What are the consequences?

Last updated on August 15, 2012

Parliament has recently passed a bill approving changes to the Immigration Act which will now criminalise sham marriages.

These changes will allow the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) to prosecute errant couples, middlemen, or marriage agencies involved in marriages being entered into for the purpose of obtaining immigration advantages.  These benefits include increased ease in securing visas, visit passes, long-term passes and/or permanent residence. Sham marriages may be proven if gratification such as the provision of monetary rewards changes hands between the parties involved.

Upon conviction, punishments may vary from a $10,000 fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both.

Apart from the offence of creating a sham marriage, the furnishing of false information to the authorities is also a criminal offence under section 177 of the Penal Code.

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