DNA testing is often required in immigration cases where a U.S. citizen is sponsoring the immigration of a relative and needs to prove to the U. S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) or U.S. embassy or consulate that the person seeking to immigrate to the U.S. is indeed a blood relative.
Similarly, DNA testing may be required in cases where a child is born on foreign soil to a parent or parents who are citizens of the United States in order to allow the child to ultimately be granted U.S. citizenship. In these cases, the parent or parents contact a local U.S. embassy or consulate and request a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. In the process of evaluating the claim of maternity or paternity, the U.S. officials may, in some cases, request a DNA test to establish maternity and/or paternity.
DNA Tests in a Foreign Country
In these immigration and citizenship cases, the petitioner must be able to arrange to have the relative or child tested by an AABB-approved DNA testing laboratory in the United States, but have the samples for DNA testing taken from the relative or child in a foreign country under strict guidelines established by the USCIS or Embassy, which are designed to ensure that samples are properly handled and that the chain of custody is correctly documented so that it can withstand any legal challenge.
DNA sample-collection abroad is generally arranged directly by the DNA testing laboratory in the United States after arrangements are made with them by the petitioner. Needless to say with DNA collection abroad, sample delivery to the testing laboratories in the United States and proper documentation and delivery of results to the petitioner and government entities is more complex than a simple DNA test performed in the United States for non-legal purposes. Nonetheless, DNA Diagnostics Center has the experience and expertise to minimize delays and deliver certified results quickly.
Click here if you are in the UK or a country other than the United States for more information about our international testing options, or immigration to countries other than the U.S.
Working Under Timelines
DNA collection can often be arranged within 24 hours of receiving a request along with the proper documentation. The sooner the proper documentation and information is provided, the sooner the test results can be available to the petitioner and the USCIS or embassy. DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) has worked with petitioners and embassies from over 165 countries. DDC generally needs a copy of the written request for DNA evidence from the USCIS or U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Key information provided by this letter will include the file or case number, the names of the persons to be tested, and the type of relationship to be tested, whether parent and child, sibling, or other.
Once received, DDC will send a kit to the embassy who will make collection arrangements with the beneficiary. As staffing and procedures at U.S. embassies and consulates can vary by country, the time needed to make arrangements for DNA sample collection can also vary, making this step in the process less consistent than some. Although DDC cannot directly influence embassy or consulate procedures, they have more than fifteen years of experience working with these embassies and consulates from around the world, and they are known for their work in the diplomatic community worldwide, minimizing the chances of unwanted delays in the process.
Once samples are collected, they are sent to testing laboratories in the United States by secure delivery where it may take 2-7 working days for complete testing, review of results, and reporting to the immigration office, depending on the lab and the type of testing to be done. Importantly, as DDC performs all DNA tests twice, our results are highly reliable and are widely accepted by immigration and consular officials, further reducing the risk of delays in the process.
Once all immigration testing and reporting is complete, the further processing of the immigration or citizenship application is in the hand of the U.S. officials. However, with regard to final maternity and paternity results, DDC fully stands by its work and is always prepared to provide documentation to ensure that the legal process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Legal DNA Testing vs. Immigration DNA Testing
A legal DNA test is the only type of DNA testing admissible in courts because it follows a chain-of-custody process. One of the top reasons people order legal tests is for immigration purposes, however, there are some important distinctions between immigration and all...