DNA Testing for Immigration. DNA technology has given us the ability to verify blood/family relationships with the greatest degree of accuracy currently possible. For immigrant visa (IV) and U.S. citizenship petitions, including applications for U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), establishment of a family relationship to qualify an applicant for an immigration benefit may be obtained using DNA testing if no other credible, documented proof of the relationship exists, such as birth certificates, photographs, school records, etc.). When such documented proof is not available or when the validity of such documentation is questionable, the U.S. Department of State or USCIS may suggest DNA testing to prove that the claimed relationship exists.
Current U.S. Department of State guidelines require that any DNA testing for immigration purposes–including immigrant visa, citizenship and passport applications–MUST be processed by a laboratory that is AABB-Accredited. LB Genetics is proud to be one of the few AABB-accredited facilities approved by the U.S Department of State and USCIS to provide DNA testing for U.S. Immigration. With over 20 years of experience in providing immigration DNA testing, LB Genetics provides DNA testing services and customer care that are unmatched in quality and reliability.
For the purposes of U.S. immigration, proof of biological relationship through DNA testing requires a 99.5% minimum probability of relationship to be reported in the DNA test results. For such DNA tests, participants are identified photographically; samples are identified, collected and processed under a strict chain of custody by neutral third parties; and genetic analysis is performed using state-of-the-art DNA typing technology. Most DNA samples collected are buccal swabs, which are cotton (Q-tip type) swabs taken from the inside of the cheek of the mouth. Buccal swabs have replaced blood samples as the specimen of choice because they are painless, non-invasive, and provide the same accuracy as blood, due to the fact that the DNA inside a person’s cheek cells is identical to the DNA inside their blood cells. For cases in which a claimed biological relationship of paternity (father/child) or maternity (mother/child) truly exists, LB Genetics guarantees that its DNA test results will state a probability of parentage of 99.5% or greater. Duplicate testing of all samples and rigorous quality control measures ensure that our immigration DNA tests are 100% accurate. Upon receipt of DNA samples from all test participants, test results are normally completed and available within one week.
Words of Caution. First, in order for the results from DNA testing for immigration to be acknowledged and accepted by the U.S. Department of State and USCIS, the DNA tests must be coordinated and performed DIRECTLY through an AABB-accredited facillity (such as LB GENETICS) and NOT through a third-party vendor. The AABB-accredited facility will coordinate testing of both the U.S. petitioner (sponsor) AND the beneficiary (claimed relative), whether they reside in the U.S. or in another country. The original test results must be sent by the AABB-accredited lab directly to the requesting U.S. Embassy, U.S. Consulate, USCIS Field Office, or other designated U.S. immigration authority. If your DNA test is performed or coordinated by labs or vendors that are not AABB-accredited, then you are taking a serious risk that your test results will not be accepted.
Second, before proceeding with (and paying for)DNA testing for your immigration petition or application, be sure that you have received some written documentation from the U.S. Department of State, USCIS or U.S. Embassy that states that you have been given the option to obtain a DNA test to provide evidence of your claimed family relationship. All too often, petitioners or their attorneys believe that a DNA test should be done early on in the application process to provide proof of their claimed relationship. We do NOT recommend that you proceed with DNA testing until you are given the option to do so by the U.S. Department of State or USCIS, as evidenced by a Request for Evidence or other written communication from them granting you this option. If you obtain a DNA test and attempt to present DNA test results to a particular U.S. immigration authority prior to that authority granting you the option to do so, then you should be aware that such unsolicited DNA test results may not be accepted and that such actions could delay or otherwise hinder the approval of your petition/application. In such cases, the U.S. Department of State or USCIS may require you to have your testing done all over again, at your expense.
Fees and Pricing. All immigration DNA tests do not cost the same. Different factors can affect the total cost, including (1) how many parties will be tested, (2) what relationships are to be tested and reported, and (3) where the tested parties are located. For example, DNA tests for sibling relationships are more complex, and therefore more costly, than are DNA tests for paternity or maternity. Also, DNA tests involving parties residing outside of the United States are more costly than DNA tests in which all parties are in the U.S., because the collection of DNA samples from non-U.S. residents requires international shipment of DNA sample collection kits from the laboratory to the appropriate U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the beneficiary’s country of residence, and shipment of DNA samples collected at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy back to the laboratory. In many cases, the laboratory must send the test results by express courier to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy as well. For a complete price quote, to schedule your DNA testing appointment, or to obtain more information about our immigration DNA testing services, please call us today at (714) 648-0468.
By: Dr John Taddie