Is birth certificate enough for the Home Office to prove your parenthood?

Our clients, who are nationals of Albania, have an adult daughter living in the UK with her EEA national husband. Two years after their daughter had successfully obtained a Residence Card (in accordance with Regulation 18 of The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016), they applied for an EEA family permit to enter the UK and join their adult daughter. However, their applications were refused on the grounds that the Birth Certificate(provided as evidence of parental relationship) was not considered as adequate since it was issued less than 1 year ago.

In the Home Office’s refusal letters it was stated that THIS birth certificate is required support by either historical document regarding the parentage or even DNA test results.

The Sterling Law team successfully represented these clients in this out of country Appeal. After considering the Albanian procedure on issuing birth certificates and our client’s daughter statement explaining why they could not locate the original birth certificate, the Judge allowed the appeal, noting that:

The Entry Clearance Office ‘has shown a lack of knowledge about how this evidence is produced in either country, Albania or the UK’, and ‘failed either to carry out checks in Albania or to supply a document verification report, in order to question the reliability of’Albanian documents proving the parental relationship.

Furthermore, the Judge stressed that:

The burden of proof falls on the doubter. It is a burden that has clearly never been discharged by the respondent HO. On the contrary, the respondent decision maker has given no sign of abandoning an unreal view of how these matters are done’.

Thus, Sterling Law will now be applying for costs for the clients.

Please note, in accordance with Albanian law ‘when a person applies for a birth certificate, he or she is issued with a new one instead of a copy of the first birth certificate issued’. Thus, in theory, an Albanian can hold 10 such certificates (with identical information) if he or she has applied 10 times.

         Do you have a similar immigration-related problem? Do you believe the Home Office made a wrong decision? Contact our experienced lawyers for professional advice.