(Last Updated On: April 2, 2023)

A Tunisian national has been detained by Polish officials for entering into a fictitious marriage with a Polish woman in exchange for citizenship.

The man was apprehended by the Bydgoszcz Border Guard, a state security agency patrolling the Polish border, after entering the country illegally without any documents or means to cover his stay.

The 32-year-old was attempting to enter into a fictitious marriage with a Polish woman to legalize his stay in Poland and gain access to other Schengen Zone countries. However, the inspection of the legality of his stay revealed that he had no residence documents or financial means for his maintenance, and had even crossed the state border from Germany to Poland illegally two months earlier.

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Upon questioning, the man admitted to travelling across European countries for work and tourism purposes since August 2021. However, he was aware that he was breaking residence regulations in the Schengen Zone countries after the expiry of his ten-day visa.

The Polish woman involved admitted that the Tunisian national had made first contact, but she consented to the marriage herself one week before the planned wedding.

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The man was detained for violating the provisions of the Act on Foreigners, and the Commander of the Border Guard in Bydgoszcz initiated a proceeding against him regarding the obligation to return.

Polish authorities are currently dealing with a high number of individuals attempting to enter and stay in the country illegally. Just earlier this month, the Podlaskie Branch of the Border Guard detained 12 people who eased illegal border crossing from Belarus to Poland.

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In light of the recent incident, Polish authorities have announced new changes to the Act on Foreigners regarding the return of foreigners residing illegally in EU countries.