chapter  3
19 Pages

Any Time, Any Place, Anywhere: Entry Clearance, Marriage Migration and the Border


This essay uses the concept of ‘border’ to analyze the evolution of state control of marriage migration in the UK. It demonstrates that the process of admission and acceptance has become more complex and multidimensional, is less directly tied to physical location and more closely connected with legal and even psychological conditions. It has mutated from a single unitary step into a lengthy series of hurdles. These changes refl ect the increased range of tools deployed by the modern state as well as changed conceptualizations of the challenge that marriage migration poses to state hegemony over entry. As this process has unfolded during the past 50 years, entry clearance came into existence, became the dominant tool of control and then one amongst many. The essay argues that while this expanded border may aim to inhibit transnational family life including through marriage, its eff ects may not be entirely as intended.