Will you need DNA testing to bring a family member to the U.S.?
Families can be complicated. For those trying to bring close relatives into the U.S. on family visas, providing evidence of a biological relationship isn’t always easy.
This can be particularly true for men. If you had a child, but never married the mother and were not named on the birth certificate, for example, you may have no documented proof of your relationship. You may not even have photos of yourself with your child when they were younger.
Maybe you and your sibling were raised separately – even in different countries. Proving your family connection may not be simple. In cases like these, you may need to use DNA testing.
When is DNA testing required?
DNA tests are easy and painless to do, and typically just involve the swabbing of the inside of the cheek. However, they can be expensive and take some time to get the results. Therefore, they’re typically required only when no other credible evidence of a familial relationship exists.
DNA tests can prove close biological relationships, like those of parents, children and siblings, with over 99% certainty. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. consulates and embassies typically require at least a 99.5% degree of certainty.
If you are seeking to bring a child or parent to the U.S. on a family visa, it’s crucial to understand what kind of documentation is necessary – particularly if you haven’t had a “traditional” relationship with them. If the evidence you can provide isn’t sufficient, you and they may need to undergo DNA testing. This needs to be done at an accredited lab (either in the U.S. or overseas) recognized for this purpose by the U.S. government. Having legal guidance throughout the process can help things go more smoothly.