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Could DNA testing be required to bring your child to the U.S.?

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2023 | Immigration Law

As a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, you want to bring your child to the U.S. There’s just one problem. There’s no official documentation that you’re their parent. 

This can happen (predominantly to men) for any number of reasons. Maybe you weren’t married to the mother and she didn’t name you on the birth certificate as the father. Maybe you then didn’t maintain a relationship with your child as they were growing up because you were in different parts of the world. 

Sometimes people who want to bring a parent or sibling to the U.S. encounter also face the issue of not having legal documentation of a familial relationship. Families can be complicated. Fortunately, the U.S. Government recognizes that. If the only way to prove your relationship is through DNA testing, that can be an option. 

Determine first whether other evidence will suffice

First, of course, you should determine whether any other evidence you can provide will be sufficient. Sometimes, letters and other documents along with photos may be enough. If it’s not, you can ask the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to allow you both to undergo DNA testing. 

This is a simple procedure, involving a cheek swab. However, it needs to be done at your expense and at approved locations. Like most every other part of the immigration process, it will take some time to process and compare the samples. 

What kind of results are needed?

Generally, a 99.5 percent or more certainty of a match is required to prove a paternal or maternal match. As noted, DNA testing can also be used to prove a sibling relationship

This is just a very brief overview of the use of DNA when necessary to help bring close family members to the U.S. as permanent legal residents. Your best first step if you’re considering this – regardless of whether you need DNA to prove your relationship or not – is to make sure you have sound legal guidance to avoid any unnecessary snags and delays.