In a family-based immigration petition, the applicants are required to submit primary documents such as birth certificate, school records, and other documents that help verify the claimed family relationships. When these initial or secondary documents are missing or have proved inconclusive, the U.S. immigration authorities such as USCIS or U.S. embassies overseas may request the petitioner and the beneficiaries to take a DNA test in order to determine the biological relationship scientifically and conclusively.
The immigration applicants bear the complete responsibilities of arranging and paying for DNA testing. However, the U.S. immigration authorities strictly require that the DNA test, if pursued, be performed by one of the laboratories accredited by the AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks).
Typically, DNA testing is utilized to determine paternity, maternity and siblingship in family based immigration cases. Most immigration applicants may need these DNA tests under the following circumstance:
The majority of the applicants who choose to take a DNA test are requested by USCIS after they file the petition or by the U.S. embassies/consulates after their interview because their primary documents do not satisfy the immigration authority to approve the petition. The request may come in a form of Request for Further Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). In this situation, the DNA test is completely voluntary and optional. However, because of the conclusive power of DNA family relationship testing, the testing results are regarded as a piece of critical evidence for the immigration purposes.
If an individual opts for the DNA test to prove the family relationship, he or she can contact one of the AABB-accredited DNA testing laboratories that are approved by the U.S. immigration authorities to perform this type of test.
Typically, the DNA laboratories with knowledge about the immigration DNA test process will send a specimen collection kit to the requesting U.S. immigration agency overseas or its designated panel physicians, who will arrange and witness the specimen collection for tested parties overseas. The tested parties residing in U. S. can go to one of the specimen collection facilities associated with the testing laboratory. At the collection, the tested parties will be properly identified and their IDs verified to satisfy chain of custody, which ensures that the testing results can be used as legal evidence.
The collected specimens then will be shipped directly back to the testing laboratory in U.S. for analysis. When results are generated, the DNA laboratory will send the results directly back to the requesting USCIS field office or U.S. embassy/consulate overseas in conformity with the official immigration testing protocols.
If chain of custody is broken in this process, the immigration authorities can challenge the results. The DNA test results cannot always guarantee the approval of an immigration case.
Related information about DNA test for immigration purposes can be found on USCIS website and on Department of State's website.
Universal Genetics (http://www.universalgenetics.com) is a leading AABB-accredited DNA testing laboratory in the U. S. Conveniently located in Los Angeles and with a large specimen collection network across the country, Universal Genetics has helped a lot of immigration applicants bring their families together through DNA testing. Universal Genetics has accumulated comprehensive and in-depth knowledge about immigration DNA tests and the testing protocols. It has a service team that is able to speak multiple languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. Universal Genetics is proud to be a specialized DNA testing laboratory for immigration purposes.
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