• "The laboratory you select must be accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks(AABB)... Under no circumstances should a third party be involved in the process of selecting a lab, scheduling the appointment, or any other process outlined in the next steps."

    U.S. Department of State
  • "Please be aware that many non-accredited businesses advertise on the Internet as being AABB-accredited. It is important to note that these "resellers" - who are not AABB-accredited - will claim to use an accredited lab for their testing. For the purpose of this request, samples collected from and comparative tests arranged through "resellers" will not be accepted. "

    USCIS - California Service Center
  • "The test must be performed directly through an AABB-accredited facility. Please visit the AABB website (ww.aabb.org) to find an accredited lab, which will also coordinate the testing of the claimed relative - if they reside overseas. Please be aware that many non-accredited businesses advertise on the Internet as being AABB-accredited. "

    USCIS - California Service Center
Home - DNA Test for Immigration - Why DNA for Immigration?
Why DNA for Immigration?

In a family-based immigration case, the applicants bear the burden of proving the claimed family relationships. Currently, both USCIS and the U.S. Department of State rely almost exclusively on documentation and interviews to verify the legitimacy of claimed family relationships.

The primary and secondary documentary evidence includes birth certificate, marriage certificate, school or church records, family pictures, and family communications among others that prove the family ties. It is widely known that certain countries do not have a good system to keep birth records and other legal documents; therefore, it is almost impossible for the applicants to produce original records that help verify family relationships.

In a scenario when the documentary evidence is available, it still presents a tremendous challenge for the immigration officers to verify the authenticity of these documents. With the development and accessibility of electronic technology nowadays, it is not difficult to produce fraudulent documents, which could appear to be authentic.

To make the situation more complicated, in some countries where marriages within relatives are still common, cousins or siblings may pose as spouses to qualify for some special immigration programs such as refugee settlement in the U. S. In that case, it is even harder to verify the claimed relationship between the applicants.

Under these circumstances, DNA technology offers a powerful tool to answer parentage and other relationship questions conclusively. Based on the fact that every person’s DNA is unique except for identical twins and that we all inherit our DNA half from our mother and half from our father, DNA family relationship testing produces two types of results ─ exclusion (0% of probability of parentage) or inclusion (99% or higher probability of parentage). A DNA test is the most reliable test currently available to prove parentage and considered 100% accurate by the scientific community.

Knowing about widespread fraudulent documentary evidence, USCIS launched a pilot project in a few African countries including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Liberia to require DNA test for families applying for the refugee settlement (P-3) program in 2007- 2008. It turned out that only less than 20% of applicants were able to prove their claimed family relationships through DNA testing. In the remaining cases, at least one negative result, revealing a false claim of family relationship, was identified or the applicants refused to take the DNA test.

Due to the high accuracy of DNA testing, there are many discussions in the industry and the government about making DNA testing results at least secondary evidence when family relationships need to be verified for immigration purposes.