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Immigration Newsweek

Immigration Newsweek

By Atty. Henry Moyal, Immigration Lawyer

Q. What is the rule or procedure when it comes to DNA results to prove parentage in relation to Canada Immigration application?

A. This issue came up recently and its conclusion will no doubt surprise people. We have all read stories or watched movies or TV programs where forensic scientists prove that a person or suspect is or is not the perpetrator. How high must the results be in those situations? When it comes to immigration applications, the goal for an applicant is to add their child to the application. In most cases it is in the context of a sponsorship application.
As such, the visa office abroad will often suspect that the parent is not the father/mother and demand a DNA test be conducted. The reasons for such suspicions can vary and include: high age of alleged mother, lack of birth certificate or suspicion that the relationship is non-genuine.

The standard procedure is that the sponsor must contact an approved DNA office recommended by Canada Immigration in accordance with the Standards Council of Canada which will take DNA samples from the sponsor/parents and child.

It is not recommended that such a test be conducted until Canada Immigration provided direct instructions to do so.

The results are then provided by the DNA center of the probability of parentage.

Surprisingly, Canada Immigration demand that there be a 99.8% probability of parentage. Anything lower will result in a refusal.

In a recent case however, a sponsor was required to provide DNA results for their alleged 12 year son. Before DNA tests were conducted the following items were submitted: birth certificate, school documents, photos showing each looking the same, financial documents and school records for 12 years indicating the father’s name as the parent.

Two DNA tests were conducted and each yielded results of only 96% on each occasion.

As such, the missing 3% was somehow conclusive evidence the sponsor was not necessarily the father.

According to the Canadian Embassy’s letter and policy issued August 27, 2017 “Parentage test results must have an accuracy of 99.8% or higher. Test results below these levels are not acceptable as proof of relationship.”
Further , discussions with DNA analysts submit that a few percentage points below 99% can mean that the child is a relative of the sponsor ( ie. Brother) but does not necessarily mean that the sponsor is the father.

The DNA markers must be so high in order to reach an almost perfect probability. Anything less only proves that there is a strong likelihood that the applicants are patrilineally related as opposed to being two patrilineally unrelated individuals.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario.
The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document.
Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email or call 416 733 3193