Immigration DNA Testing: How It Works

Overview of UK Immigration DNA Testing

Immigration DNA testing in the UK is often required when a UK citizen is sponsoring the immigration of a relative and needs to prove to the Home Office, Passport Office or UK embassy or consulate that the person seeking to immigrate is indeed a blood relative.

Similarly, DNA testing may be required in cases where a child is born on foreign soil to a parent or parents who are citizens of the United Kingdom in order to allow the child to ultimately be granted UK citizenship. In these cases, the parent or parents contacts a local UK embassy or consulate and requests a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. In the process of evaluating the claim of maternity or paternity, the UK officials may, in some cases, request immigration DNA testing to establish maternity and/or paternity.

Collecting DNA Samples in a Foreign Country for UK Immigration DNA Testing

How It Works

  • If the person seeking to immigrate lives in a foreign country, the petitioner must first arrange to have the testing for the relative or child performed by a Ministry of Justice-approved DNA testing laboratory
  • The DNA-sample collection must be performed for the relative or child in the foreign country under strict guidelines established by the Passport Office or Embassy

The process is designed to ensure that samples are properly handled and that the chain of custody is correctly documented, thereby making results legally binding.

The Lab Makes all the Arrangements

DNA sample collection abroad is generally arranged directly by the DNA testing laboratory in the UK, once the petitioner makes arrangements with them. The testing process for immigration purposes requires proper documentation and delivery of results to the petitioner and government entities, so it’s more complex than a simple DNA test performed in the UK for non-legal purposes. That being said, you can rest assured that DNA Diagnostics Centre (DDC) has the experience and expertise to minimise delays and deliver approved results quickly.

Working Under Timelines

DNA Diagnostics Centre (DDC) works with petitioners and embassies from over 165 countries. DNA collection can often be arranged within 48 hours in the UK and a few days abroad once the lab receives a request along with proper documentation. The sooner the documentation and information are provided, the sooner the test results can be available to the petitioner and UK Immigration authorities.

Required Paperwork for UK Immigration DNA Testing

  • DDC generally needs a copy of the written request for DNA evidence from the Passport Office or UK Embassy or Consulate. Key information provided by in this letter includes the file or case number, the names of the individuals to be tested, and the type of relationship to be tested, whether parent and child, sibling, or other.
  • Once in receipt of the written request, DDC sends a kit to the embassy or panel doctor who makes collection arrangements with the beneficiary. As staffing and procedures at UK embassies and consulates can vary by country, the time needed to make arrangements for DNA sample collection can also vary, making this step in the process less consistent and predictable than some.

Although DDC cannot directly influence embassy or consulate procedures, they have more than fifteen years’ experience working with embassies and consulates around the world, and the lab is known for its work in the diplomatic community worldwide. This reputation helps to minimise the chances of unwanted delays in the process.

The Testing Process

Once samples are collected, they are sent to testing laboratories by courier. From arrival it may take 2-7 working days for complete testing, review of results, and reporting to the immigration office, depending on the lab location and the type of testing to be done. Importantly, as DDC performs all DNA tests twice, results are highly reliable and are widely accepted by immigration and consular officials, further reducing the risk of delays in the process.
Once all MOJ immigration testing and reporting is complete, the further processing of the immigration or citizenship application is in the hand of the UK officials. However, with regard to final maternity and paternity results, DDC fully stands by its work and is always prepared to provide documentation to ensure that the legal process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.


If you need additional information or want a confidential consultation about a UK immigration DNA test, contact our experienced customer-service team on 020 3301 7346.