2. Offer of a DNA test
3. Coverage of expenses
4. Procedures for performing DNA analyses
4.2. Procedure when a DNA analysis is offered
4.3. The embassy’s duties
4.4. The duties of the police
4.5. The analysis institute’s duties
4.6. Processing the application after the results of the DNA analysis are known
5. Storage and destruction of DNA tests
This circular concerns the system of offering DNA tests to determine family relationships pursuant to the Immigration Act section 87.
In most applications for family immigration, the family relationship can be confirmed by written documentation, such as a birth certificate. However, the immigration authorities have experienced that applicants from some countries have great difficulty obtaining reliable written documentation of family relationships.
DNA testing can be offered to applicants of all nationalities when the application is submitted through an embassy that is operative for DNA testing, or through the police in Norway. See Appendix 1 for an overview of embassies that assist the UDI in DNA testing.
The testing shall be carried out under the auspices of the Norwegian embassies listed in Appendix 1.
The UDI can offer DNA tests to applicants who submit applications for permits for reunification with a relative in Norway. Most of those who are offered DNA analyses will be persons who have stated a parent/child relationship, but other relationships can also be confirmed through a DNA analysis.
Based on an assessment of the application, the immigration authorities will decide whether to offer a DNA analysis in each individual case. As a rule, DNA analyses will be offered in cases where the other criteria for family immigration are met, but where the immigration authorities find that doubt exists about the correctness of the stated family relationship. Doubt can be deemed to exist if insufficient or conflicting information has been provided in the application, of if the UDI finds that the certificates provided cannot be given decisive weight.
A decision on whether or not to offer applicants a DNA analysis is not an individual decision and it cannot therefore be appealed.
The immigration authorities will cover expenses relating to the actual taking of the sample (i.e. the equipment and the shipment of the tests) and the analysis of the sample. Any travel expenses on the applicant or sponsor’s part will not be covered. The immigration authorities only cover expenses for DNA tests initiated by the UDI.
When the UDI takes the initiative for a DNA test, the applicant and the sponsor are summoned to attend testing by the police or the embassy.
- The application for family immigration is submitted by the applicant and processed in the normal manner at the embassy.
- The embassy informs the applicant that the Norwegian authorities may offer a DNA analysis if they find that doubt exists about the correctness of the stated family relationships.
- The application will be forwarded to the UDI for processing in the normal manner.
- The immigration authorities will also inform the sponsor (the person in Norway with whom the applicant wishes to be reunited) about the possibility of the Norwegian authorities offering a DNA analysis if they find that doubt exists about the correctness of the stated family relationships. This is done via the police, who, at the UDI’s request, summon the sponsor for an interview.
- The UDI will assess the case in the usual manner. If all the other permit criteria are met, but doubt exists about the stated family relationships, an offer of a DNA test may be made pursuant to the Immigration Act section 87. It is up to the UDI to decide whether the applicant and the sponsor will be offered DNA analyses.
- The UDI notifies the embassy to which the application was submitted if the applicant is to be summoned and offered a DNA analysis.
- The UDI sends corresponding notification to the police that the sponsor is to be summoned and offered to take part in a DNA analysis. As a rule, the foreign service mission will contact the applicant, but the sponsor may also in exceptional cases be asked to inform the applicant that he or she must contact the foreign service mission as soon as possible to arrange for a sample to be taken.
- At the same time, the UDI notifies the laboratory that is to perform the analysis that an offer of a DNA analysis has been made in case number X, involving x family members. The laboratory will register the persons expected to give a sample.
- The embassy summons the applicant to attend on the appointed date. The embassy should inform the applicant about why he or she is to attend.
- When the applicant appears for his/her appointment, the embassy informs him or her about the offer of a DNA analysis, that he or she must give a sample, what questions the DNA analysis will answer, and that the result of the DNA analysis will be taken into account in the further processing of the application. The applicant must also be informed in writing about DNA testing if he/she has not already received such information in writing.
- When the embassy is sure that the applicant understands what consent to a DNA analysis entails, the applicant must sign a statement of consent.
- The embassy will take two photos of the applicant (or the applicant can submit two recent passport photos of him/herself).
- An embassy representative will supervise the taking of the DNA sample. A sticker with the applicant’s name, date of birth and DUF number must be attached to the sample
- One of the photos must be attached to the consent form with the date of the sample taking, the applicant’s name, date of birth and electronic registration number, the sponsor’s name and date of birth and the signature of the embassy representative.
- The other photo must be kept together with the embassy’s copy of the application for identification in connection with any subsequent issuing of an emergency travel document or visa.
- The labelled sample and the form with a photo and the statement of consent are to be placed in a separate sealed envelope. A sticker must be attached to the sealed envelope displaying the applicant’s name, date of birth and electronic registration number. This operation must be completed before the next sample is taken to prevent samples being mixed up. The embassy must record the names of the persons who have attended the sample taking and given samples.
- If more than one person from the same family gives samples, the procedure described in items 3-8 above is repeated for each family member. When all family members have given samples, the labelled and sealed envelopes must be collected in a bigger envelope. The joint envelope must be sealed and a sticker stating the main reference number attached, as well as, if applicable, a sticker with the names and electronic registration number of each person giving a sample.
- The sample(s) must be packed and sent to the laboratory that is to perform the analysis. The embassies are requested to send sample(s) by DHL or a similar carrier. An overview of which persons have given samples must be sent to the UDI by post.
- A representative of the embassy or the UDI must be present during all processes in connection with identifying the applicant, taking samples, sealing and shipping the sample. At no time must the applicant be left alone with the sample. If situations arise that can cast doubt on the origin or the sample, a new sample must be taken. If the embassy cannot take samples in accordance with the guidelines, the sampling must be postponed until all the necessary equipment has been acquired.
If the applicant does not appear for his/her appointment at the embassy, endeavours must be made to summon the applicant for a new appointment. If the applicant does not appear for this appointment either, the embassy must notify the UDI, which will process the case in the usual manner.
If the applicant appears for his/her appointment at the embassy and still wishes to apply, but does not wish to avail him/herself of the offer of a DNA analysis, the embassy should conduct a new interview with the applicant to ascertain the reasons why he/she does not wish to avail him/herself of the offer. The interview must be sent to the UDI, which will process the case in the usual manner.
If, within a certain period of time, a sample is not/has not been taken of the applicant, the UDI should notify the analysis institute that the previously notified and planned DNA analysis in case X will not be carried out after all, so that any sample submitted by the sponsor can be destroyed.
- The police summon the sponsor to an appointment. The person should be informed about why he or she has been summoned. Alternatively, if the person is summoned in writing, it is possible to enclose standardised written information about what a DNA analysis entails.
- When the sponsor appears for his/her appointment, the police must inform him/her about the offer of a DNA analysis, that he/she must provide a sample, what questions the DNA analysis will answer and the consequences the result of the DNA analysis may have for the outcome of the application.
- As a rule, the foreign service mission will contact the applicant, but the police may in exceptional cases request the sponsor to ask the applicant to contact the foreign service mission as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for the sample to be taken. In such case, the UDI will notify the police of this.
- When the police are sure that the sponsor understands what consent to a DNA analysis entails, the sponsor must sign a statement of consent.
- The police are responsible for taking the sample.
- The person taking the sample must check the sponsor’s identification, and a copy of the proof of identity presented with a photo must accompany the statement of consent.
- The sample is taken.
- A sticker with the sponsor’s name, date of birth and case number must be attached to the sample.
- The sample, a copy of the consent form and proof of identity must be sealed in the enclosed envelope, which must be marked with the sticker number and DUF number.
- If more than one family member has been asked to give a sample to the police, the procedure described in items 4-9 above is repeated. All the samples must then be sealed in a joint envelope. The envelope is marked with the name and electronic reference number.
- The police send the sample to the laboratory that will perform the analysis; see the address in Appendix 2 to this circular. The samples can be sent by post. When the laboratory receives the samples, it will check that the sealed envelopes have not been opened.
If the sponsor fails to appear for his/her appointment with the police, the police must notify the UDI, which will process the case in the usual manner. The UDI will notify the embassy that the planned DNA analysis in case X is not going to be carried out after all, because the sponsor has failed to appear for his/her appointment.
If the sponsor appears for his/her appointment with the police and still wishes to maintain the application, but does not wish to avail him/herself of the offer of a DNA analysis, the police should conduct a new interview with the sponsor at which the person in question states why he/she does not wish to avail him/herself of the offer. The interview must be sent to the UDI, which will process the case in the usual manner.
- The submitted samples are registered and analysed in accordance with the UDI’s request.
- The institute checks the samples received and notifies the UDI if the seal has been broken or if it has any other remarks regarding the samples.
- The test result, marked with the case number, is sent to the UDI.The UDI is the analysis institute’s client. If the applicant, a sponsor authorised by the applicant or a lawyer has any questions regarding the case processing time or test result, he/she should contact the UDI, not the company performing the analyses.
- If the analysis confirms the information that was provided about the family relationship and the sampling was carried out in the prescribed manner, the family relationship is deemed to be satisfactorily documented. The application is otherwise processed in the usual manner.
- If, on the other hand, the analysis does not confirm the information that was provided about the family relationship, the UDI will send a letter with a copy of the test result to the applicant via the embassy and/or to the sponsor via the police, so that the applicant/ sponsor is given an opportunity to comment on the results before a decision is made.
Please find enclosed an information sheet that we request that the police and foreign service missions distribute to applicants and their sponsors in accordance with the guidelines.
The DNA test and pertaining information must be deleted or destroyed as soon as possible after a family relationship has been confirmed or disproved, cf. the Immigration Act section 87 second paragraph. Out of consideration for the case processing, including any handling of appeals, the Directorate of Immigration will as a rule keep the test and the results for 12 months after a decision is made. The storage and collection of data must be carried out in accordance with the applicable licence from the Norwegian Data Inspectorate.
Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of Department
Contact: The Managed Migration Department, Section for Family Immigration