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Immigration DNA testing is often required when a UK citizen is sponsoring the immigration of a relative and needs to prove to the Passport Office, Home Office, UK embassy or consulate that the person seeking to immigrate is indeed a blood relative. This is because DNA testing is the most scientific and accurate way to prove that two or more individuals are biologically related. For example, if a child is born abroad to a parent or parents who are citizens of the UK, a Home Office approved DNA test needs to confirm maternity and/or paternity to allow the child to be granted UK citizenship.

A wide range of DNA testing kits are available from AlphaBiolabs to determine family relationships, including paternity tests, maternity tests, sibling tests, twin (zygosity) tests, grandparent tests, aunt and uncle tests, and Y chromosome tests. All can be used for immigration cases, applications and appeals, and results are provided with an unprecedented turnaround time.

How are the samples collected?

The DNA sample needs to be collected by an approved sample collector, a nurse or another medical professional. No blood samples are needed for the immigration DNA test. Swabs are used to painlessly collect cheek (buccal) cells from the inside of the mouth. There are strict guidelines to follow and the collector needs to maintain chain of custody conditions to ensure validity of the test and avoid any suspicion of fraud. Under these strict collection conditions, there is no chance of the sample being interfered with and the results are therefore admissible in a UK court or immigration hearing.

In the UK, an AlphaBiolabs sample collector can collect a DNA sample from an address of your choice or at one of our nationwide Walk in Centres. Alternatively, a GP or medical practice could collect your samples (may be a fee involved).

DNA sample collection abroad can also be arranged directly by AlphaBiolabs. We have a large international collection network available to take DNA samples and regularly work with immigration centres, consulates and embassies worldwide. To date, we have collected samples from 90 countries.

How are the DNA tests performed?

Our geneticists extract the DNA from the cheek cell samples using one of the newest DNA extraction techniques available. Our laboratory is one of only a few accredited to test up to 35 DNA
Short Tandem Repeats (STR) markers as standard; most relationship tests are performed using only 16 STR markers. STR markers are specific locations on a chromosome made up of sequences of repeated DNA. These STR markers are highly variable in length between individuals. Each individual has two copies of each STR marker, known as alleles: one is inherited from the father and the other from the mother.

The two alleles observed at each STR marker are compared between the tested individuals. The correspondence of alleles between tested individuals provides evidence of a relationship between them. Statistical calculations are then performed to determine the probability of the tested individuals sharing a relationship.

AlphaBiolabs performs all DNA tests twice so you can be confident of getting accurate results.

Useful links and a more detailed article on this subject can be found on our Learning Centre. Our accredited Ministry of Justice-approved DNA testing laboratory has its UK immigration test accepted by the Home Office, Her Majesty’s Passport Office, UK Visas and Immigration, the UK Border Agency and UK courts. If you require an immigration test for yourself, a relative or a client please call AlphaBiolabs on 0333 600 1300 or visit our website at