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When do you need a DNA test to bring a relative to the U.S.?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2022 | Family Based Immigration

Many naturalized citizens and other immigrants to the U.S. came to this country through family visas. It’s not uncommon for people who have settled here to bring close family members over to join them.

Families can be complicated. Sometimes a biological relationship isn’t always obvious. Men, in particular, may have to prove a biological relationship to get a visa application approved.

Examples of when DNA testing may be necessary

Maybe you fathered a child with a woman you never married and you aren’t listed on the birth certificate. You, your child and their mother all know that you’re the father, but there’s no documentation proving it. Maybe there were parents who didn’t approve of the relationship or other reasons why you didn’t provide financial support for your child.

Perhaps you’re that (adult) child, and you’ve already settled in the U.S. – maybe thanks to your profession. You’re trying to bring your father over from your home country to be close to you and your own family. However, as noted, there’s no proof of your biological relationship 

In situations like these, DNA testing can be the answer. These tests, which are easy and painless to take, can provide virtually irrefutable proof (over 99%) of a close biological relationship between people. like those of parents, children and siblings, with over 99% certainty. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepts tests with a 99.5% degree of certainty as proof of familial relationship.

Understanding what’s involved and determining if a DNA test is the best option

Although these tests typically involve simply a swabbing of the mouth, they are expensive to process. They must be handled by an accredited lab. Sometimes, getting the results (either from a lab in the U.S. or abroad) takes some time. However, if that’s the only acceptable evidence you can provide, it’s likely worth doing.

Before you go the DNA testing route to bring a family member to the U.S., make sure that this is your best or only option. Having legal guidance as you go through the family immigration process can make things easier for you and your loved ones.