What is DNA Testing for Immigration?
DNA Testing for Immigration is made possible by the ability to verify family relationships with extreme accuracy.
DNA Testing for Immigration may be required if no other credible, documented proof of the relationship exists. This includes birth certificates, photographs, school records, etc.
DNA Immigration testing may allow you to obtain
- Immigrant visa (IV)
- U.S. citizenship petitions
- Applications for U.S. passports
- Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
- Establishment of a family relationship to qualify an applicant for an immigration benefit
U. S. Guidelines for DNA Immigration Testing
When documented proof is not available, the U.S. Department of State or USCIS may require 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 an AABB-Accredited Laboratory.
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 a biological relationship by DNA testing means the test result must show at least a 99.5% probability. For such DNA tests, participants are identified photographically and samples are identified, collected and processed under a strict “chain of custody” by neutral third parties. Genetic analysis is performed using state-of-the-art DNA typing technology. Most DNA samples collected using buccal swabs, which are cotton (Q-tip type) swabs taken from the inside of the mouth in the cheek area. Buccal swabs have replaced blood samples as the specimen of choice because they are painless and non-invasive. They provide the same accuracy as blood. This is due to the fact that the DNA inside a person’s cheek cells is identical to the DNA inside their blood cells. For cases where a man claims to be the biological father of a child (paternity) or a woman claims to be the mother of a child (maternity), LB Genetics guarantees that (if true) DNA test results will state a probability of parentage of 99.5% or greater. Duplicate testing of all samples and rigorous quality control ensures that our immigration DNA tests are 100% accurate. Upon receipt of DNA samples from all participants, test results are normally completed and available within one week.
DNA Testing for Immigration by NON-Accredited Agencies
A word 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 facility (such as LB GENETICS). They may NOT be performed through a third-party vendor. The AABB-accredited facility will coordinate testing of both the U.S. petitioner (sponsor) AND the beneficiary (claimed relative). This is regardless of 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 risk rejection of your test results.
Do I Need Written Authority to Obtain a DNA Test for Immigration?
Second, before proceeding with (and paying for)DNA testing for your immigration petition or application, ensure you’ve received written authority from the U.S. Department of State, USCIS or U.S. Embassy. This authority should state that you have been given the option to obtain a DNA test to prove 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. This may be in the form of a Request for Evidence or other written communication from them granting you this option. If you obtain a DNA test and try to present the results to a U.S. immigration authority without authorization, your unsolicited DNA test results may be rejected. Such actions may delay or complicate the approval of your petition/application. In such cases, the U.S. Department of State or USCIS may require you to have your DNA testing repeated at your expense.
DNA Testing for Immigration Fees and Pricing
All immigration DNA tests do not cost the same. Different factors can affect the total cost, including
- How many parties will be tested,
- What relationships are to be tested and reported, and
- 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. This is because the collection of DNA samples from non-U.S. residents requires international shipping:
- Shipping of DNA sample collection kits from the laboratory to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the beneficiary’s country of residence.
- 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 +1-714-648-0468.
By: Dr. John Taddie