Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing is a useful tool for verifying an alleged biological relationship in conjunction with a U.S. citizenship case such as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), a minor passport or an immigrant visa application.
DNA testing is always voluntary. When genetic testing appears warranted, a Consular Officer may suggest applicants undergo DNA testing to establish the validity of the relationship(s). If the applicant chooses to move forward with DNA testing, they must pay all the costs of testing and related expenses. This includes a payment made directly to the laboratory in the U.S., a payment to the panel physician who will collect the DNA sample, and any courier fees incurred from sending testing kits and results between the laboratory and the embassy.
Note: Any DNA collection abroad is only valid if it takes place at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
DNA Sample Collection Process
Step 1: Locating an Accredited Facility
The petitioner must contact an AABB-accredited lab to order a DNA kit be sent to the Embassy. A list is available at http://www.aabb.org. Test results from other labs will not be accepted. Prices for DNA testing vary by lab. The petitioner pays fees directly to the lab, and beneficiaries in Turkey will pay 100 USD per sample to the panel physician on the day of the testing prior to coming for their DNA appointment.
Step 2: The Embassy will schedule a DNA testing appointment after receiving the DNA kit
We will contact you directly to schedule your DNA appointment after the Embassy receives your DNA kit. If the beneficiary does not speak English or Turkish, they will need to bring a certified translator on the day of the interview. The translator’s information will need to be provided to the Embassy via email prior to the beneficiary’s appointment.
Step 3: On the day of the appointment, be prepared to bring the following for each person:
- The original and a photocopy of a government-issued photo identification (and English translation), such as a passport, driver’s license or travel document.
- For children under 14, a government-issued (not hospital-issued) birth certificate
- One 5cm x 5cm, passport-size, color photograph on white background
- All applicants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who must also present their own valid photo identification at the time of the appointment.
- If a translator is being used, the translator will also need to bring a government-issued photo identification.
Step 4: Receiving the Test Results and Next Steps
The laboratory will send the test results directly to the Consular Section.
When the results are received from the laboratory, we will contact the Petitioner and the Beneficiary. We will not accept results that are not sent directly by an accredited laboratory to the Consular Section.
If the genetic test results support the claimed relationship, we will notify the Beneficiary of the positive results and remind the Beneficiary to complete any pending documentation. If there is no documentation pending, an immigrant visa will be issued, and the applicant informed.
If the genetic test results indicate the claimed relationship does not exist, the petition will be returned to the Department of Homeland Security accompanied by a recommendation by the Consular Section that the petition be revoked. The case will be closed, and no further documents or evidence will be accepted by the Embassy. The Consular Section will then notify the Beneficiary with news of the petition’s revocation.
Important Things to Remember about DNA Testing
- The Embassy will only accept results collected from the buccal (oral) swab DNA testing method. This method (removing a small amount of genetic material from the inside of the mouth) is simple, clean, and non-invasive.
- The cost of testing and all expenses relating to testing (such as doctors’ fees, mailing fees, AABB-approved laboratory fees, etc.) are the responsibility of the Petitioner and Beneficiary and must be paid in advance.
- The Embassy has no role in setting these costs and will not intervene with any laboratory to seek any adjustments in costs.
- The Embassy does not provide refunds for unused DNA kits, nor does it participate in any way in the financial transactions required for DNA testing.
- For purposes of visa issuance, the Embassy will only accept original genetic test results that have been sent to the Embassy directly by the laboratory conducting the test. This is to ensure all necessary safeguards in conformity with U.S. visa regulations are followed.
- The Embassy does not assume responsibility for the professional caliber or practice of any of the AABB (Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies) accredited parentage testing laboratories.
- Submitting to testing in no way guarantees the subsequent issuance of an immigrant visa. While the genetic test is pending, all other investigations related to the case will be suspended until the testing process is completed.
- Petitions returned to the Department of Homeland Security in the United States based on negative results may be revoked or denied by the DHS. The Embassy reminds all applicants that penalties exist for making false statements in the filing of immigrant visa applications.