Immigration Paternity Testing

Immigration Paternity Testing

NorthGene™ are specialists in providing DNA testing in immigration cases where relationships are disputed or need to be proven.

DNA testing is now regularly used by the Home Office and British Posts overseas to confirm disputed relationships in cases of immigration. NorthGene™ has been accredited by the Ministry of Justice as a body that may carry out parentage tests directed by the civil courts in England and Wales under Section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969 and our reports are recognised by the Home Office. Northgene Ltd operates within a strict chain of custody in accordance with Ministry of Justice guidelines. For more information about what is involved in having a DNA Relationship Test undertaken for immigration purposes, please see our step-by-step guide.

1. Registering with NorthGene
In order to be able to arrange DNA testing you will usually need to have a UK sponsor for your case. You can register online or by calling our Client Liaison Officers on 0191 233 1414 or you can ask your solicitor, health professional (i.e. doctor) or social worker to register on your behalf. We require a deposit of £99 to be returned with the registration form unless your case is funded by legal aid. If you have not yet registered your case with your Embassy, we will remind you to do so at this point.

2. Overseas Sampling Arrangements
We will contact the nearest British Embassy to ask if they are willing to take the DNA samples on your behalf.  If you have not registered your case with them the sample(s) may be taken by an approved external sampler.  Please note that the Embassy may not accept our report unless you have registered with them and the sample is taken by them.  If unsure you should contact your Embassy before registering your case with us. When we have made contact with the British Embassy or approved sampler testing kits will be sent out by courier.  Upon receipt of the sampling kit an appointment will be arranged directly with the overseas clients.  There will be a charge for this. Please note that it is the Embassy/approved sampler who arranges the overseas appointment and not NorthGene.  We therefore, cannot guarantee the timescale of testing.  Please ensure that you provide a contact telephone number for your family overseas to avoid any delay to your case. Samples will either be returned via Diplomatic Bag if taken in the Embassy (this can take up to three weeks) or by courier if taken by an approved external sampler.  Courier costs must be met along with the sampling charge by your family overseas when attending the appointment.

3. Find a UK Approved Sampler
Samples can be taken by your own GP (if they offer this service) or an approved sampler in your area.  Upon registration a list of approved samplers will be sent to you.

4. Arrange a DNA Sampling Appointment
Make an appointment to have your DNA samples taken with your chosen sampler.  Please note that the sampler will charge for this service and that it will be your responsibility to pay this fee.  Please clarify the cost with your sampler when making your appointment.

5. Advise our Client Liaison Officers of Your Appointment
You can contact us on 0191 233 1414 or at We will need to know the date of your appointment and the address where your samples will be taken. Please note that you must give us at least 5 working days advance notice of your appointment so that the necessary sampling kits can be sent out in time.

6. Providing a Sample
Everyone giving a sample will need to take three recent passport photographs plus photographic identification (passport of driving license) to the appointment. On arrival you will be asked to sign a consent form to say that you are happy for a DNA sample to be taken and a test to be performed. The DNA sampler will verify the photographs provided and attach them to the Identification Form. They will also take a photocopy of the ID. The DNA sample will then be taken. All samples are taken by mouth swab. The sampler will rub a sterile, cotton bud on the inside of the mouth. The sample(s) will be returned to us in a tamper-evident bag by the sampler.

7. Test Undertaken
Once all samples have been received we will require the second instalment of our invoice.  Upon receipt of payment our laboratory will proceed with DNA testing. Processing time depends upon the type of test being undertaken but is normally 10 working days from receipt of samples in our laboratory.

8. Report Issued
Once we receive the laboratory’s analysis the final instalment of our invoice will be required. Upon receipt of full payment we will send the report to you, your solicitor (if you have one) and, if you wish, the appropriate British Embassy or Home Office Department . Please note: the report will only be sent to the UK sponsor being tested and their nominated solicitor. If you wish us to send a copy of the report to the British Embassy you will need to complete and sign the relevant section of the registration form.

How are the Samples Taken?
DNA samples are taken by gently rubbing a swab on the inside of the mouth in order to collect cheek cells. This is a quick and painless procedure. When giving a DNA sample each person being tested will need to provide 3 passport-sized photographs and photographic ID such as a passport or driving license. Please note: that samples will not be taken if these forms of identification are not provided. You will also be asked to sign a consent form stating that you are happy for DNA analysis to take place. In the case of children under the age of 16 their legal guardian will be asked to sign a consent form on their behalf.

How Long does the Test Take?
Immigration cases can be more complex than standard paternity testing so it takes longer for our laboratory to process the results. Once all samples have been received by our laboratory, analysis takes approximately 10 working days to complete. Occasionally it may be necessary to run a part of the scientific process again, in such cases clients may need to wait a little longer to receive their reports. During the process you can contact our Client Liaison Officers to find out how your case is progressing. Our team always makes every effort to ensure that results are sent out to clients as soon as they are available.

What is a Mutation?
In some cases a biological father or mother of a child may not share a gene copy with the child at one or two genetic markers, as a result of a mutation. Here, Professor Sir John Burn explains what is meant by mutation and how the lab determines whether the non-match is the result of a mutation or signifies that the possible father/mother is not the biological parent of the child.

Children inherit half their DNA from each parent, identity tests utilise areas of an individual’s DNA that are known to vary in the general population. When analysing parentage we analyse the parent’s DNA and look for matches within their child. At each area we analyse the parent who should have contributed their DNA. Occasionally a parent will match at all but one of two of these areas of DNA and that does not necessarily indicate they are not biologically related. It could indicate that close relative of the parent is the true biological parent of the child. It could however be a mutation. When DNA is passed from parent to child, it is done by copying the DNA. This is not an error proof process as it can be compared to copying a long identical string of letters “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”. If an error is made during the copying it is termed a mutation. Therefore when comparing the child’s DNA to that of their parents there may be a discrepancy. Statistically these mutations are seen in around 1 in 50 cases.

Professor Sir John Burn MD FRCP FRCPCH FRCOG FMedSci Chief Medical Officer, NorthGene™ Ltd

How do I find an Approved Sampler?
Your sample can be taken by your own GP if they offer this service.  If preferred please email our office at or call our Client Liaison Officers on 0191 233 1414 to request a list of approved samplers in your area, should you wish to make sampling arrangements prior to registering your case.

Alternatively, a list of approved samplers in your area will be posted or e-mailed to you upon registration. You will need to contact one of them and arrange an appointment to have your sample taken. A testing kit will then be posted to the sampler of your choice when you inform us of your appointment. Please give us at least five working days notice of any appointments made to allow enough time for us to do this.

Please note: Our approved samplers will charge for this service and you will be responsible for this payment. This should be discussed when arranging your appointment. We will write to you once your testing kit has been sent out with a leaflet explaining what you will need to take to the appointment. We advise that you contact your sampler a couple of days before your appointment to ensure that they have the kit. If not please contact us and we will send another kit out.

Will the Results be Accepted by the UK Home Office?
Once DNA analysis is completed you will receive a report that identifies the statistically most likely relationship between the individuals tested.

In more complex cases such as siblingship or second degree relative testing (e.g uncle/aunt and niece /nephew) the greater number of close relatives that are tested the more conclusive the test results will be. NorthGene™ has been accredited by the Ministry of Justice as a body that may carry out parentage tests directed by the civil courts in England and Wales under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969. The UK Home Office require that DNA tests are performed by a laboratory on this list, we cannot however guarantee the acceptance of any visa or passport application.

How much does Testing Cost?
The charges quoted are for each separate report required
Paternity/Maternity Test (for up to 3 people)*
Cost including VAT £345
*Please note that if more than one report is required e.g. If paternity and maternity reports are required, an extra charge of £30 for each additional report will be incurred.

Sibling Test* (for 2 people)

Cost including VAT £345
*Please note that when parental samples are not available there is a 60-65% chance of obtaining a conclusive result.

For every extra sample required

Cost including VAT £100

For each additional report

Cost including VAT £30
Each test includes the cost of one report.

If clinic appointments are required

Cost including VAT £30*
*for each sample

Our charge does not include the cost of sending sampling kits overseas by courier, if required this will added to the invoice. Please note that overseas samples are either returned via the Embassy in a Diplomatic Bag (this can take up to three weeks). Alternatively if the sample is taken by an approved overseas sampler the kit will be returned by courier. The courier costs will be added to the sampler’s charge and will need to be paid at the time of sampling. Our rates are competitive and in line with all other leading relationship testing companies in the UK.

Our competitive prices are in line with those of all other relationship testing companies in the UK who are approved by the Ministry of Justice. These prices DO NOT include samplers’ fees.

*Please note that DNA testing prices may vary depending upon the complexity of the case.

Payment Terms

A first instalment of at least £99.00 must be received along with your completed Registration Form before any samples will be taken.

Methods of Payment Bank

  • Bank Transfer (BACS)
  • Cheque made payable to NorthGene™ Ltd
  • Legal Aid (solicitors only)
  • UK Credit / Debit card
  • Cash (if having samples taken at our own clinic)

Cancellation Charges
In the event that you wish to cancel a case after you have returned your payment and Registration Form, then a cancellation charge + VAT will be levied. The amount of this charge will depend upon the level of work that we have completed up to and including the date of such cancellation. Cancellation charges range from £95 to the full price of the test.

Click the button below to book the an Immigration Test online. If you need further guidance on what type of test you may require please call our Client Liaison team on 0191 233 1414 who will be happy to talk you through the options.

Other relationship testing

If you would like to discuss the possibility of performing other relationship tests please contact our Client Liaison Team on 0191 233 1414.

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