Genetic (DNA) Testing
Information Sheet For Genetic (DNA) Testing
In order to qualify for certain classes of visas, an applicant is required to demonstrate to the Consular Officer that he or she has a particular blood relationship with the Petitioner or Principal Applicant. One way to demonstrate this relationship is through DNA testing. DNA testing is optional. In some cases, it can be useful to prove the existence of a biological relationship in the absence of other sufficient proof of relationship. If you elect to seek DNA testing, you must follow the procedures outlined here.
Please note that DNA collection abroad is only valid if it takes place at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa.
Information for Petitioners Residing in the United States
The petitioner must schedule a DNA test appointment with a laboratory that is approved by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). A list of AABB-approved laboratories can be found at the AABB website.
Information for Petitioners Residing in Honduras
Petitioners residing in Honduras must choose an AABB lab in the United States (as previously detailed) and then have a DNA test kit sent to the U.S. Embassy in Honduras. A list of AABB approved laboratories can be found at the AABB website. Once the samples are taken, they will be sent to an AABB clinic in the United States for analysis.
Petitioners must request that the selected laboratory in the U.S. send a collection kit for each beneficiary directly to the following address:
Consular Section/DNA Specialist
Avenida La Paz, Tegucigalpa, Honduras 3453
Information for the Beneficiary in Honduras
Once the DNA kit arrives at the Embassy, beneficiaries will be contacted by the U.S. Embassy to schedule an appointment. Any questions may be directed to the U.S. Embassy DNA e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org. On the appointment day, the beneficiary must appear in person with two color passport photographs (2"x2"), a valid passport, a photocopy of the passport, and the address of the petitioner in the United States. Failure to produce satisfactory documentation will result in delays. The beneficiary must pay a fee in cash (exact change) to the laboratory at the U.S. Embassy at the time of sample collection. The current fee per applicant is US$ 22, or its equivalent in Lempiras. Applicants must not eat or drink anything three hours prior to the collection time. This includes gum and candy.
The petitioner must also check with the laboratory to ensure that a pre-paid envelope is included with the kit. Otherwise, the beneficiary should provide a pre-paid courier delivery envelope addressed to the selected U.S. laboratory. This envelope will be used to send the beneficiary's sample for comparison with the petitioner's sample. Beneficiaries can acquire pre-paid courier delivery envelopes at FedEx, DHL, etc.
What Happens Next?
If the genetic test results support the claimed relationship, the Consular Section will notify the beneficiary of the positive results and remind the beneficiary to complete any pending documentation. If there is no documentation pending, an immigrant visa will be issued and the applicant will be informed.
If the genetic test results indicate the claimed relationship does not exist, the petition will be returned to the Department of Homeland Security accompanied by a recommendation by the Consular Section that the petition be revoked. The case will be closed and no further documents or evidence will be accepted by the Embassy. The Consular Section will then notify the beneficiary with news of the petition's revocation.
Important Things to Remember about DNA Testing
- Genetic testing is voluntary; you choose whether or not to do it;
- The Embassy will only accept results collected from the buccal (oral) swab DNA testing method. This method (removing a small amount of genetic material from the inside of the mouth) is simple, clean, and non-invasive.
- The cost of testing and all expenses relating to testing (such as doctors' fees, mailing fees, AABB-approved laboratory fees, etc.) are the responsibility of the petitioner and beneficiary and must be paid in advance;
- The Embassy has no role in setting these costs and will not intervene with any laboratory to seek any adjustments in costs;
- The Embassy does not provide refunds for unused DNA kits nor does it participate in any way in the financial transactions required for DNA testing;
- For purposes of visa issuance, the Embassy will only accept original genetic test results that have been sent to the Embassy directly by the laboratory conducting the test. This is to ensure all necessary safeguards in conformity with U.S. visa regulations are followed;
- The Embassy does not assume responsibility for the professional caliber or practice of any of the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) accredited parentage testing laboratories;
- Submitting to testing in no way guarantees the subsequent issuance of an immigrant visa. While the genetic test is pending, all other investigations related to the case will be suspended until the testing process is completed;
- Petitions returned to the Department of Homeland Security in the United States based on negative results may be revoked or denied by the DHS. The Embassy reminds all applicants that penalties exist for making false statements in the filing of immigrant visa applications.