Understanding Immigration DNA Testing

DNA testing may be be provided as an option by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a US Embassy, or other US Government agency for a petition or application. Learn more about who may need immigration DNA testing and what the process is below.

Terminology –
A Petitioner is the person residing in the US or US Citizen sponsoring the Beneficiary.
A Beneficiary is the person requesting a US Visa or Immigration Document.

If your immigration case hinges on your ability to prove your biological relationship to a family member, you may need DNA testing. The requesting government agency will let you know if this is an option in your particular case.

If you receive a letter from the USCIS, a US Embassy or Consulate, or other US Government agency, DNA testing must be conducted by an AABB Accredited Relationship Testing Laboratory. GenQuest is one of only a few AABB Accredited laboratories worldwide.

Who Should Get Immigration DNA Testing?

If a relative is sponsoring your immigration to the United States, you will need to provide evidence of your relationship to that person. In many cases, a birth certificate or similar document is sufficient evidence of a blood relationship to a parent or sibling sponsor.

But, if representatives of the requesting government agency have reason to question your documentation, or if your relationship to your sponsor is not evident in your paperwork, DNA testing may be a conclusive alternative. DNA testing is the best accepted non-documentary method of proving a biological relationship. US Government agencies commonly request testing for paternity and/or maternity relationships. If your petition or application is for a sibling, these US Government agencies will require a common parent to be tested as well.

While DNA testing can strengthen your case and improve the chances of your petition or application being approved, it does not guarantee the subsequent approval of the petition or application.

If you have valid documentation proving the relationship between petitioner and beneficiary, it is best to submit that first. The requesting government agency will inform you if there is an issue that DNA testing can help resolve.

What is the Immigration DNA Testing Process?

Once you receive a letter from the requesting government agency, you choose an approved AABB Accredited Laboratory like GenQuest to process your Immigration DNA Test. Certified Collection sites must handle samples for the DNA Tests, as you and your relative will not be allowed to handle Test Kits.

Appointments will be set to perform a buccal swab, which is a cotton swab of the cheek, and is a fast and painless procedure. Overseas testing will be conducted by appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate. Samples will be forwarded to the DNA Testing Lab, and test results will be sent to the requesting government agency to supplement your immigration application.

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