DNA Tests: Legal vs Immigration
Legal DNA Testing vs. Immigration DNA Testing
Legal DNA Testing: What makes a DNA test legal
Legal DNA tests are required for use in court cases, such as child support, paternity, child custody, US VISA and immigration, adoptions, or any cases involving a court ordered DNA test. Legal DNA tests require more attention and special handling. They must follow a regulated Chain of Custody and be tested in an AABB Accredited laboratory (or ISO certified lab, for legal cases outside of the United States).
Chain of Custody is everything that surrounds the collection and testing of a sample; from who can collect, how the sample is collected, the required consent forms, recording of identification, traced submission for testing, all the way to the formatting of how it is reported. This process ensures the integrity of the sample throughout the collection and testing phases. When chain of custody is done correctly it certifies the sample can be used in a local, state, or federal court of law for any purpose needing accurate and valid legal DNA results.
While still technically a Legal DNA Test the only caveat to this whole procedure is Immigration DNA Testing.
Immigration DNA Testing: The Basics
As part of U.S. immigration or visiting procedures, you may be requested to perform an immigration relationship DNA test to prove that you are related to your relatives living in the United States, or related to an applicant. In most cases this is a legal relationship test in the form of a Legal Paternity, Aunt / Uncle, or Grandparent DNA Test. This is generally an administrative formality, but is a crucial step in the United States VISA application process.
Much the same as a Legal DNA Test, USCIS Immigration DNA Tests will follow a strict Chain of Custody in the collection process and all DNA samples must be processed by an AABB approved laboratory, which we happily have access to. In fact they are almost the same except for the crucial first step before the process can even be started and any DNA testing done.
LEgal vs Immigration: The Crucial Difference
The crucial difference separating these two DNA tests is that an Immigration DNA Test must be requested by the USCIS or Consulate office before the test is ordered or performed. We urge anyone wanting to get an immigration DNA test to always wait until the USCIS or consulate officer in charge of your case requests for you to perform a DNA test. Do not request or purchase a DNA test for the purpose of immigration testing before receiving the requesting letter from the USCIS to do so. It will NOT be accepted by U.S. Immigration.
There have been many people who jump the gun and try to take a DNA test before applying or while waiting for a government agency to respond to an application. Please, do not do this. Applying for a U.S. VISA or immigration status change is expensive enough. Prematurely taking a DNA test will waste both your time and money
Things you will need before ordering your U.S. Immigration DNA Test
A quick checklist of required and helpful information when ordering a VISA or Immigration DNA Test
Written request from the USCIS or US Embassy/Consulate - Most Important Item
Email address where we can send all critical forms
Full legal name of each participant.
Date of birth for each participant.
Contact phone number for each participant.
Mailing address for each participant.
Notation of where the party is located (e.g. U.S., International, or both).
Because this is an intricate process, after you contact our administration office the lab techs in the laboratory will need to call you back directly to talk about all the particulars and set up a time and place for you to give your DNA sample for analysis. The lab techs will arrange the scheduling of appointments for DNA sample collection required here in the United States (or abroad), oversee the shipment of our DNA collection kits to U.S. Embassy and Consulate locations worldwide, and once testing is complete, send official results directly to the requesting immigration office.
Please be aware that this test must be requested by U.S. Immigration. Do not request or purchase a DNA test for the purpose of immigration testing before receiving the requesting letter from the USCIS to do so. It will not be accepted by U.S. Immigration.