Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the DNA procedure has undergone some changes:
- The Aliens Office no longer receives the public. It activates the procedure by mail within one month after the decision ;
- The diplomatic posts continue to take blood samples, but only by appointment (no "open days" as before);
- Erasmus hospital schedules appointments for blood samples several times a week.
This letter sent by the Aliens Office contains detailed instructions on the procedure to be followed
You received an invitation letter from the Aliens Office in order to take part to an information session about the DNA procedure secured and set up by the Aliens Office and the F.P.S. Foreign Affairs as part of a visa application for family reunification.
This information session is a group meeting and lasts about 2 hours.
In order to get well prepared, we strongly advise you to read this page. It will help you to better understand the DNA procedure and its consequences.
We do insist on the fact that the DNA procedure is proposed by the Aliens Office after a complete and deep analysis of the visa application file. You cannot choose this procedure by ease in replacement, for example, of the usual procedures to obtain an extract of birth certificate.
A whole series of documents are required as part of a visa application for family reunification, but for a child who wants to join his parent, the essential thing remains the birth certificate which informs about his age and establishes his filiation. If you are invited to a DNA briefing, it is because the birth certificate produced during the visa application was inconclusive and the Aliens Office therefore rejected this visa application unless you undergo a DNA test.
The Aliens Office only proposes a DNA test if the applicant does not exceed the age limit set by the law on family reunification and if the rest of the case is in order. To assess the age of the applicant, we rely on the information we have at our disposal. In other words, all the other conditions for family reunification must be respected.
Several situations may motivate the Aliens Office to propose a DNA test. Without going into details, here are some examples:
- The applicant fled a country at war without carrying any civil status documents, or the registers of the Civil Status were destroyed. He found refuge in a camp and has no documentation proving his filiation.
- The birth certificate contains errors or erasures
- The declaration of birth is late or delayed (for example: the declaration of birth is made by means of a supplementary judgment). No credence can be given to this type of declaration and the administrative record of the parent in Belgium contains no elements which could help the Aliens Office to rule on the filiation.
The declaration of birth, whether belated or not, is in contradiction with the contents of the administrative record of the parent in Belgium (Example: When he was interviewed for political asylum, the asylum seeker in Belgium declared that his child had been killed or declared some of his children but not the plaintiff who was already born at the time, ...).
Step 1 - The information session.
You are invited to an information session in French or in English, depending on your country of origin and your mother tongue. If you are not fluent enough in these languages, you may be accompanied by a person who will be your interpreter.
For this session, please bring your invitation letter, your ID-card, 3 recent colour photographs of you (passport size) and, if possible, an e-mail address and a phone number to which we can easily reach you.
Except in exceptional circumstances, the information session starts at 10:00am. We ask you to arrive on time so as not to disrupt its smooth running.
After a general outline of the procedure, you are received individually and, if you wish, you sign a consent form (Annex 3). You will receive then a documentation that summarizes the general presentation and includes contact details, as well as a bank transfer form with all necessary references.
Step 2 – The payment.
The DNA analysis costs 200 EUR (€) per person. The minimum amount will therefore always be 400 EUR: 200 EUR for the parent in Belgium and 200 EUR for the child applying for the visa. If the test is proposed for several children, the amount increases (200 EUR for the parent in Belgium + 200 EUR multiplied by the number of children).
This amount must be paid directly on the Erasmus Hospital account and always after the information session. An advance payment could indeed be lost since the procedure only officially starts after the signature of the Annex 3.
You can pay the amount through your bank or through the post office, but we do not accept cash during the information session.
You can pay right away or later if you need time to collect the sum. However, if you need more than 6 months to collect the sum, we ask you to confirm your interest in the proceeding. Indeed, if we do not hear from you, after 6 months, your file will be filed without further action and the DNA procedure will be definitively closed.
As long as the analysis is not paid, the progress of the procedure is stopped.
When the DNA analysis fee is paid, you must send us the proof of payment, either by fax (00-32-2-274 66 48) or by e-mail (gh.dna[at]ibz.fgov.be ). You can also drop it off at the reception desk of the Aliens Office (Chaussée d'Anvers 59B (1st floor), 1000 Brussels). Never send a proof of payment by post.
Upon receipt of the proof of payment, the Aliens Office informs the embassy / consulate and the Erasmus Hospital by e-mail that the blood samples can be taken. If you have given an e-mail address, you will always receive a copy of the instructions given to the diplomatic post or the Erasmus DNA Laboratory.
Step 3 - The collection of the DNA sample at the diplomatic post.
Upon receipt of our e-mail, the embassy / the consulate contacts the applicant by telephone and gives him an appointment for the blood collection.
Exception: Embassies in Dakar (Senegal) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast) do not contact applicants and do not schedule appointments. The sampling is done in Dakar every Wednesday morning without appointment and in Abidjan every Friday morning without appointment.
It is not necessary to be fasting for the sample which is not a "classical" blood test but a simple sampling of blood drops on the finger by means of a lancet (same technique as for diabetes).
In a fraction of a second, the lancet pricks the fingertip without the slightest pain and makes a few drops of blood bead that are deposited on an FTA ("blotting paper") card. This FTA card is then placed in an individual sealed envelope with an accompanying medical protocol completed by the licensed physician performing the sampling and on which a recent photograph of the applicant and an identification bar code are affixed. This sealed envelope is sent by diplomatic bag to the S.P.F. Foreign Affairs in Brussels, and then transmitted to Erasmus.
On the day of blood sampling, the applicant must have a small sum in local currency to pay the doctor or nurse who takes the blood sample. This amount varies by country. For example, in 2017, the applicant usually pays 5, - US dollars in DR Congo, 15,000 CFA francs in Ivory Coast, 2000 Naira in Nigeria ... These amounts can of course fluctuate over time.
Step 4 - The collection of the DNA sample at the Erasmus Hospital.
Upon receipt of the applicant's DNA sample, Erasmus will telephone you and arrange an appointment for your own collection.
Attention: If the amount of the analysis is not yet fully paid at this stage, the sample sent by the embassy / consulate is stored at Erasmus and your appointment is deferred until the payment of the analysis is complete.
Step 5 – The DNA analysis.
From the moment all the samples taken are at Erasmus, you must count 6 to 8 weeks to obtain an analysis result.
Erasmus communicates the result to the Aliens Office by a simple e-mail and transmits to you the complete report of the DNA analysis (including the identification of the persons and the samples, the result, etc.) by post. The Aliens Office therefore does not keep any genetic data in a database. Your genetic profile is kept at Erasmus under medical secrecy.
There are two possible scenarios:
- The result is positive (at 99.99999 ...%): the visa is immediately granted, unless in the meantime new elements have revealed a fraud in the procedure (identity theft, false documents ...). You are informed of this decision by email and by mail.
- The result is negative (at 100%): the visa cannot then be granted. Please note that a counter-expertise is made systematically (with the second sample taken) before communicating the result.
Different causes can lead to a negative DNA result: couple problem and infidelity, bad estimate of the beginning of pregnancy due to lack of medical follow-up, rape, or attempt to make a collateral (brother, niece, cousin ...) pass for his own child.
In any case, this exclusion of parenthood will be detected by Erasmus.