Embassy / Immigration DNA testing
DNA testing is increasingly becoming a required step in completing the Immigration process for family members. A biological relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary must be proven when the birth certificate is deemed not sufficient by the USCIS or embassy. Common relationship tests include Paternity, Maternity, Sibling and Grandparent DNA Tests. This type of test is also used when verifying a passport or a birth certificate abroad.
Normally, one party is in the US, and the other party in another country. When this is the case, the party here in the USA will have a professional DNA collection performed. A package is sent to the embassy for the beneficiary, and their collection is arranged through the embassy. The packages are bar-coded before leaving the lab and scanned again upon arrival. The samples are matched up in the lab, and testing can be completed within 3-5 business days after both samples are received back in the lab.
In other cases, both parties may be abroad. If that is the case, one package will be sent to the embassy containing the collection supplies for all, and both collections are done at the same time there.
An immigration case number is required for processing the order, as well as names and addresses of all the participants.
There are many companies offering these services, however there are a few things that make some stand out above the others. First and foremost, you want to be absolutely certain that you are dealing with an AABB accredited laboratory. This accreditation is required for producing a Legal Immigration DNA Test Result.
Secondly, consider shipping. Shipping is an important aspect of the immigration DNA testing process since there are packages going back and forth between countries. Embassies receive a lot of mail and process many documents each day. You are wise to make sure that your packages are all sent via trackable means, such as FedEx or DHL. You should be given tracking numbers of the package going to the embassy AND the package going back to the lab in the USA. Just as importantly, you want to make sure that your result will also be shipped with a tracking number. What good is it to go through the complete process and the results never show up? This could become a very costly issue.
Other things to consider when choosing a company for your immigration DNA testing are collection fees for the party to be collected in the US. Check to see if that is included in the pricing, or if that is something you will have to pay out- of-pocket at the time of collection. Also, do you get a copy of the result? You should! You should have access to a non-legal copy of the result for your records. Some companies may not provide that copy to you, or it would be extra. With Paternity-USA, the party that orders the test will receive an online code and a web address to a result database. They will be able to go online and view the result as soon as it is available. The hard copy is sent to the embassy or USCIS office as directed in the Immigration Case Letter.
The bottom line is that not all DNA testing companies are equal. Some advertise a low price, but once you consider everything that will make your transaction safe and successful, you may really end up paying more. A low advertised price on a web site may not be the price at the end of the process. Make sure you get all of the information before placing an order. I recommend a one-stop-shop where everything (including shipping, collection and results) is included in the price, and you know what you are getting from the beginning. The process is confusing enough without playing games with pricing. Make an educated decision before purchasing an Embassy or Immigration DNA test.
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