A recent change in British nationality law means that being named as the father on a birth certificate will no longer be enough to prove paternity in immigration cases where the parents are not married.
The change was introduced in September 2015 by the British Nationality (Proof of Paternity) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 to amend the British Nationality (Proof of Paternity) Regulations 2006. This change only affects new birth certificates and does not affect children or fathers where the birth certificate was issued before 10TH September 2015.
When applying to join family members in the UK, proof of a biological relationship between an applicant and a UK citizen is needed to meet the requirements of the UK Border Agency. Previously, a birth certificate issued within 12 month of a child being born was sufficient to establish paternity for the purposes of British Nationality applications. However, recent changes mean individuals may require a paternity test to establish a biological relationship. If the father is married to the child’s mother at the time of birth, then a paternity test to prove a relationship is not necessary. This change in law may result in an increased need for DNA testing to prove paternity to support immigration cases.
The 2006 regulations state:
“2. The following requirements are prescribed as to proof of paternity for the purposes of section 50(9A)(c) of the British Nationality Act 1981—
(a) the person must be named as the father of the child in a birth certificate issued within one year of the date of the child’s birth; or
(b) the person must satisfy the Secretary of State that he is the father of the child.
The 2015 regulations have substituted this regulation with:
“2. For the purposes of section 50(9A)(c) of the British Nationality Act 1981, the prescribed requirement as to proof of paternity is that the person must satisfy the Secretary of State that he is the natural father of the child.”.
How the paternity test works
The DNA legal team arranges a time for the DNA sample collection that best suits your client. The first step in the process is a mouth swab, which is taken by a doctor or sample collector. A mouth swab is required from the alleged father and child. Forensic experts will determine how much DNA the alleged father has in common with the child. The experts will then be able to conclusively determine if the alleged father and child have a biological relationship. Once our labs have received the DNA samples the results will be available within 3 – 5 working days.
If you would like to find out more information about our paternity testing for immigration purposes, please request more information.