DNA relationship testing is suggested as the best means of confirming the biological relationship between two individuals in order to process Immigrant Visa applications. Normally, DNA tests are not a requirement of the U.S. Consulate, and are only requested for the most difficult adjudication cases. DNA testing, when properly conducted, is virtually 100 percent accurate, and a positive result will resolve any doubts about the relationship between a petitioner and beneficiary.
You must use an accredited relationship laboratory in the United States to conduct a DNA relationship test. The list of accredited relationship laboraties approved by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) can be found here. These laboratories have experience in cases orginating outside of the United States. The cost of DNA tests can vary depending on the laboratory, and whether the requested results are expedited. Depending on the laboratory chosen by the Immigrant Visa applicant, fees normally range from USD$600 to USD$1,000, and results are available between two and weeks after the laboratory receives the medical samples provided by the petitioner and beneficiary. The costs of all charges related to DNA tests are borne by the petitioner and the beneficiary.
One of the most important aspects of the testing process is the security of the samples taken from the individuals. The chain-of-custody of the DNA testing kit must be maintained from the moment the samples are taken by the panel physician until the DNA testing kit arrives at the laboratory in the United States. The Panel Physicians within South Africa and Namibia are as follows:
Dr. Junaid Hoosen & Associates
108 Medical Mews, Sandton City
Dr. Brauer & Dr. N. Sayed
Suite 207, Level 2
Clocktower Office Suites, V & A Waterfront
Dr. Ben Viljoen
First Floor, Aus Valley Center
After the samples have been taken, the U.S. Consulate will assemble, secure, and ship the DNA testing kit with prepaid postage provided by the Immigrant Visa applicant to the DNA relationship laboratory in the United States for analysis.
If either the petitioner or the beneficiary requesting a DNA test resides in the United States, arrangements should be made for by the party in the U.S. to have a separate kit sent to a local doctor who can take the samples, and return it directly to the laboratory following the same chain-of-custody procedures. Once the DNA relationship laboratory has both samples, they will be analyzed, and the results issued.
Original notification of the results will be sent directly to U.S. Consulate Johannesburg, and the U.S.-based relationship laboratory will send separate copies sent to the petitioner and beneficiary upon request. Once the Consulate has received the original copy with a positive result, the Immigrant Visa application can proceed.
Questions regarding DNA relationship testing should be directed to the Immigrant Visa Section at 27-11-290-3000, or via email at ConsularJohannesburg@state.gov.