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DNA Tests
15 MINUTE READ
August 3, 2023

OVERVIEW

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) or immigrant visa applicants unable to establish their relationship to their U.S. citizen parent(s)/ relative or U.S. petitioner as required by U.S. law may request DNA testing if there are no other means of verifying the relationship in question.  Specimen material is taken from the persons whose relationship is to be verified and an approved laboratory in the United States analyzes the results.  A consular officer will then consider the results in the final adjudication of the CRBA or immigrant visa applicationThis test is highly accurate in determining blood relationships.  Please note that testing cannot show the ethnicity of applicants.

Please do not start the DNA process until after you appear at the Embassy or Consulate General for your interview.

WHAT TYPE OF DNA SAMPLE METHOD IS USED?

Department of State guidelines indicate the preference for collection of specimen material through the buccal-swab method.  At present, only results from the Polymerase Chain Reaction-Short Tandem Repeats (PCR-STR) and Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) methods of DNA testing may be accepted.

DNA TESTING PROCESS

Applicants and their U.S. petitioners are responsible for the entire cost of the procedure, to be paid in advance, and there is no guarantee that the case will be approved after the test.  Testing must be performed by an American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) approved DNA testing laboratory in the United States.  Under U.S. government regulations, tests performed at other labs are not acceptable and will not be honored.  The AABB’s current list is at the web address below.

https://www.aabb.org/sa/facilities/Pages/RTestAccrFac.aspx

Specimen material from the applicant and, as needed, other persons must be collected in Vietnam by the Embassy and Consulate General’s Panel Physician, the International Organization for Migration (IOM).  The following are steps for petitioner-initiated DNA testing:

 

STEP 1: LOCATING AN ACCREDITED FACILITY

The U.S. petitioner of the applicant directly contacts one of the AABB-approved laboratories and has specimen material collected for testing.  The petitioner should only work directly with an AABB-approved laboratory.  In cases where DNA testing is between the applicants in Vietnam only, the U.S. petitioner should also contact one of the AABB-approved laboratories and ask them to send the specimen collection kits directly to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General.

 

STEP 2: SPECIMEN COLLECTION KITS SENT TO U.S. EMBASSY/CONSULATE GENERAL FOR TAKING SAMPLES

The laboratory will send a specimen collection kit for the applicant as well as a prepaid Federal Express return envelope to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General. The kit must include the following:

  • A copy of the original DNA request from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General or the USCIS I-797 request form with the name and case number;
  • Contact information for the applicant in Vietnam, including local address and phone number; and
  • Return shipping material with prepaid FedEx shipping label and commercial invoice.

The kit and the return envelope must be sent by Federal Express to:

U.S. Embassy Hanoi

FPU – DNA Collection Kit
Consular Section, U.S. Embassy
7 Lang Ha Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

U.S. Consulate Ho Chi Minh City

FPU – DNA collection kit
U.S. Consulate General
4 Le Duan Street, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Please note that packages sent to the Vietnam address by means other than Federal Express will not be accepted.

 

STEP 3: CONTACTING THE APPLICANTS FOR DNA APPOINTMENTS

Upon receipt of the specimen collection kit from the U.S. laboratory, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General will work with IOM to schedule an appointment with the applicant to collect specimen material.  The applicant will be informed of the date and place of the appointment by telephone and letter.  Therefore, it is important that the Embassy or Consulate General have the applicant’s correct address and contact telephone number in Vietnam.

 

STEP 4: APPEARING AT THE U.S. EMBASSY/CONSULATE GENERAL FOR SAMPLE COLLECTION

NO SHOW – If the applicant cannot appear at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate General on the appointed day, he/she should contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate General.  If the case pertains to a Consular Report of Birth Abroad contact American Citizen Services.  If the case is related to an Immigrant Visa, please notify us here.

On the scheduled date, the applicant will be required to provide the following before the sample is collected:

  • Specimen Collection fee of 70 USD/person (only U.S. dollars are accepted)
  • Two pictures taken within the last month of each person who will provide the DNA sample.  The size of the picture must be 5cm x 5cm, with a white background, and both ears visible.  You (or your parent/guardian) should print your name and have your signature on the back of each photo.
  • Valid Government-issued photo identification: original and a photocopy.  Acceptable forms of ID:  national ID, passport, or driver’s license
  • Birth certificate is required if the person testing is under 18 and/or does not yet have a government-issued ID.

Additionally, you will receive an email with specific instructions prior to your appointment.

 

STEP 5: SAMPLES SENT TO U.S. APPROVED LABORATORIES FOR ANALYSIS

The U.S. Embassy or Consulate General will send the sample directly to the U.S. laboratory using the prepaid Federal Express package provided by the U.S. laboratory.

Please note that the U.S. petitioner and applicant are responsible for the following fees:

  • Cost of the collection kit, testing procedures, and for shipping the collection kit to Vietnam and from Vietnam to the lab (payable to the lab).
  • Specimen collection fee of 70 USD per person (payable to IOM at the time of collection; payment must be made in cash and only U.S. dollars are accepted).

 

STEP 6: DNA TEST RESULTS SENT TO U.S. EMBASSY/CONSULATE GENERAL FOR CONSULAR OFFICERS’ REVIEW

After analysis, the laboratory in the United States must e-mail the DNA test results to the Embassy or Consulate General.  Faxed and mailed results are no longer accepted.  Please be sure to include the applicant’s name and the case number when sending the DNA results.  Please only send the results to the e-mail addresses below:

A consular officer will review the results.  If the results verify the claimed relationship, and any ineligibilities have been resolved, the CRBA information request or Immigrant visa refusal will be overcome.  If the results do not verify the claimed relationship, the adjudicator will deny the CRBA application or uphold the original immigrant visa refusal.  The Embassy or Consulate General will notify the applicant by phone, e-mail, or mail of the final decision.

More information on the DNA process is available on our Department of State website.

Contact Us

Please note that we will not respond to inquiries sent by postal mail or fax.

Submit an inquiry: Inquiry Form

U.S. Embassy in Hanoi
Consular Section,
Rose Garden Building
Second Floor, 170 Ngoc Khanh Street
Hanoi, Vietnam
Mailing Address:
Consular Section
U.S. Embassy in Hanoi
7 Lang Ha Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

U.S. Consulate General in HCMC
American Citizen Services
4 Le Duan Blvd., Dist. 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam