Friday, May 4, 2018

USCIS Updates Policy on DNA Evidence in Support of Sibling Relationships

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS has updated its policy on the acceptance of DNA evidence supporting sibling relationships. This policy memorandum (PDF, 136 KB) permits officers to suggest and consider direct sibling-to-sibling DNA test results, and provides standards for evaluating DNA results for full siblings and half siblings. This guidance will enhance the agency’s ability to accurately evaluate eligibility for immigration benefits by allowing petitioners and officers to make effective use of recent technological advances in direct sibling DNA test results.

When USCIS determines that primary evidence is unavailable or unreliable, it may suggest and accept DNA test results as evidence of a full-sibling or half-sibling relationship in any petition or application for an immigration benefit in which a sibling relationship is required to establish eligibility or may otherwise be relevant to an eligibility determination. USCIS will only consider results of DNA testing conducted by an AABB-accredited lab.

USCIS does not currently have regulatory authority to require DNA testing.  This new policy may only suggest DNA testing as an option for proof of relationship.

This Policy Memo replaces a 2014 Policy Memo (PM-602-0106, DNA Evidence of Sibling Relationships), and previous guidance in Chapter 21.9(c) of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM).

USCIS policy on parentage testing remains unchanged.

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