Picture this: You moved to America to provide a better life for your family. After being in the United States with a visa for the required number of years, you applied for citizenship and became a U.S. citizen. Now that you’ve figured it all out, you are ready to bring your family home. Unfortunately, you didn’t have the proper documentation to prove that your family is your family. Now, the government is asking you to provide proof of your kinship. What are you going to do now? Continue reading to learn about the possible immigration DNA test you might need when it comes to applying for a visa or visiting relatives in the United States.
When Does Immigration to the U.S. Require DNA Testing?
If you are sponsoring the visa of a family member (or are getting sponsored by a family member), you have to provide the proper documentation to prove the validity of the relationship. A birth certificate or an equivalent document may provide adequate proof of kinship. It’s unfortunate that this isn’t always the case.
DNA testing is a tool used in immigration to authenticate familial connections when the documentation provides reasonable doubt. The results of the DNA test can help family members obtain a temporary visa or even permanent citizenship.
Who Can Authorize an Immigration DNA Test?
Several government agencies might request DNA evidence in cases where documentation was lacking or inconclusive, including:
- The U.S. Embassy
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- The U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Consular Affairs
It’s important to note that certain government agencies, such as the USCIS, will not accept a test result before they’ve requested it. Make sure you follow the directions of the appropriate government agency so that you don’t waste any money.
The letter that requests the testing must include:
- The full legal name and date of birth for all participants
- The contact numbers and mailing addresses for all participants
- A physical location of all participants (in the U.S. or abroad)
This makes it easier to validate the participants’ identities to make sure the right person is providing the DNA samples. The entire immigration DNA testing process is voluntary. However, submitting to the DNA test can help speed up the visa application and citizenship processes.
Which Tests Can Help in an Immigration Case?
Several DNA test options can aid in your immigration case, including maternity, paternity, and kinship tests. These tests can validate the relationship between parents and their children as well as between siblings that have been separated during the immigration process.
These DNA tests are 99.5% accurate. In fact, at Health-Link, our scientists perform two separate tests to ensure accuracy.
What Does the DNA Testing Process Look Like?
Once you’ve received the paperwork requesting the DNA test, you will contact an AABB-accredited laboratory to perform the DNA test. At Health-Link, we will take care of everything both in the U.S. and abroad. Make sure you have to file number/case number readily available through the process so that we can make sure all of the DNA information is applied to the right case.
Once you’ve paid the first half of the testing fee, the DNA collection can take place. The entire process is simple and pain-free, so you don’t need to worry.
At DNA Collection Site
To protect the chain of custody, participants will not receive a DNA testing kit. All of the testings must be done in an accredited lab. We have affiliates across the United States for efficiency. All participants will report to their designated DNA collection site to complete the test.
At the DNA collection sites, participants will provide a government-issued ID to verify their identity. The DNA collector will complete a Chain of Custody form before taking the sample. Once completed, the collector will swab the inside of their cheeks for the DNA sample. The sample will be stored in tamper-proof packaging and sent off to the lab.
In the DNA Lab
In the lab, the staff will check to make sure the test wasn’t tampered with. If it’s intact, the sample will get logged into a database to ensure the Chain of Custody is complete.
Once all of the samples have arrived, testing begins. All samples are divided into two. From there, two scientists perform two different tests to ensure accuracy. The DNA is extracted from the swab and then purified. Chemicals are added to the DNA sample causing a polymerase chain reaction.
The testing process produces a DNA profile of each participant. Those results get compared to each other for a DNA match.
Getting the Results
The results are generally available within 48 hours following the arrival of all DNA samples. However, the rest of the payment has to get processed before you will receive them.
We are the only lab that will call you to give you the information right away. At your request, we can send you the legally admissible, notarized results through first-class mail, email, or fax. We will also send the results to the appropriate agency to move forward with your visa or citizenship applications.
How Much Does Immigration DNA Testing Cost?
If you submit to an immigration DNA test, you will be responsible for the cost of the testing kit and laboratory use. Thankfully, it is relatively affordable. The entire cost of a paternity DNA test (including the test itself and the laboratory fees) comes to $350.
Do You Need a DNA Test for Immigration?
DNA testing is a big deal, especially when the fate of migrating to a new country hangs in the balance. At Health-Link, we can provide immigration DNA test results in as little as 48 hours. Once the payment is received, we can call you with the results to give you peace of mind. This way, you don’t have to wait for the results to come in the mail.
Contact Heart-Link DNA today to get started on the DNA testing process. We look forward to hearing from you.