Men in the UK being offered £10,000 to pose as dads for migrant women’s babies in visa scam
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As part of the scam, men are being offered up to £10,000 to add their names to birth certificates, which enables a child to get UK citizenship and gives mothers a residency route into the UK. A BBC Newsnight investigation has found scammers are using Facebook to tout for business and claim to have helped thousands of women in this way.
It uncovered agents operating across the UK who find British men to be fake fathers.
A researcher went undercover, posing as a pregnant woman who was in the UK illegally, and spoke to people offering these services.
One agent, who went by the name Thai, told her he had multiple British men who could act as fake fathers and offered a "full package" for £11,000. He described the process as "very easy" and said he "would do everything" to get the child a UK passport.
Under current rules, if a migrant woman is in the UK illegally and gives birth to a child fathered by a British citizen or a man with indefinite leave to remain, the baby is automatically British by birth. The mother can then apply for a family visa, which will give her the right to remain in the UK - and apply for citizenship in due course.
In response to the investigation by BBC, the Home Office said: “A birth certificate alone may not be sufficient evidence of proof of paternity" and in cases where this needs to be established, "additional evidence may be requested to enable our checks to be satisfactorily completed".
The full investigation will be available on BBC iPlayer from May 20.