Marriages of convenience

Other Names:
High mobility marriages

A marriage of convenience is contracted for reasons other than that of relationship of love. Instead, such a marriage is entered into for personal gain or some other sort of strategic purpose, such as political marriage. Some cases in which those married do not intend to live together as a couple, typically marry only for one of them to gain the right to reside in a country.

In many cultures it is usual for parents to decide their adult children's marriages; this is called arranged marriage. A marriage of convenience that is neither a sham marriage entered into for fraudulent purposes or a forced marriage is not against the law.


A Belgian report investigated marriages in which foreigners marry Belgians to acquire residency rights. It found that Antwerp courts annulled 114 marriages of convenience during the period 1990 to 1997. Liege courts annulled 59 cases during the same period.

Illegal marriage
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Society Marriage
Date of last update
23.04.2019 – 14:52 CEST