UK: Home Office apologises for illegally demanding immigrants provide DNA samples


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Home Office apologises for illegally demanding immigrants provide DNA samples
29.10.18
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"Sajid Javid has apologised after the Home Office illegally demanded immigrants provide DNA samples as part of their visa applications.

The home secretary admitted his department have denied visas or leave to remain in the UK to applicants who failed to provide DNA evidence.

Among those who had been hit with demands for DNA samples were the relatives of Gurkhas and Afghan nationals employed by the UK government.

Mr Javid told MPs such demands for DNA samples were "unacceptable", adding: "I want to take this opportunity to apologise to those who have been affected by this practice.

"The law in this context is that the provision of DNA evidence should always be voluntary and never mandatory.""

See: Home Office apologises for illegally demanding immigrants provide DNA samples (Sky News, link)

The details and background are provided in: Internal review of the government's policy on requirements to provide DNA in visa and asylum cases (14 September 2018, pdf):

"On 7 June 2018 the Secretary of State for the Home Department was asked two Parliamentary questions relating to the provision of DNA for visa and asylum cases. The Secretary of State replied that “There is no specific requirement for DNA evidence to be provided in immigration cases. It is open to individuals to provide DNA evidence if they choose but this would be on an entirely voluntary basis and where this is submitted, we will consider it”. Official Home Office correspondence then came to light that showed that this statement did not reflect operational practices. A number of applicants have been required to provide DNA."

See also: Home Secretary statement on the use of DNA evidence in immigration applications(pdf)

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