Since 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.
This procedure is offered by the Immigration Office after a comprehensive review of the visa application. You cannot therefore choose this procedure as an easy alternative to the usual steps for obtaining a birth certificate, for example.
A whole series of documents are required when applying for a visa for family reunification, but for a child who wants to join his or her parent, the most important document is the birth certificate, which provides information on the child's age and establishes his or her filiation. If you are invited to take part to a DNA test, it means the birth certificate provided at the time of the visa application was not conclusive and that the Immigration Office refused the application, subject to a DNA test.
The Immigration Office only offers a DNA test if the applicant is within the age limit set by law for family reunification and the rest of the file is in order. In other words, all other conditions for a family reunification must be met. To assess the age of the applicant, the Immigration Office uses the information available to it.
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 – Start of the DNA procedure from Belgium
You receive the start letter in the language of the region where you are officially domiciled (French or Dutch) but the instructions it contains are in 3 languages: French – Dutch and English.
Here is what to do once you received our letter. :
A pre-filled Appendix 3 (consent form) and a bank transfer form are attached to this mail.
You need to fill in the yellow highlighted sections of the Appendix 3 : paste your colour ID photo, write your phone number, e-mail address, ID card number, date the form and sign it
You scan in colour (or photograph in colour) the completed and signed Appendix 3 + a copy of your identity card (both sides) + your proof of payment (if you have already paid) and send them by e-mail only to the following email address email@example.com. No postal mail or fax or sending to an e-mail address other than this one will be taken into account.
As soon as we receive your e-mail, the DNA section will activate your DNA procedure, notifying the diplomatic post and Erasmus genetic imprints laboratory.
With regard to payment in particular: you can pay the analysis fee right away or do so within 6 months from the date the letter is sent to you. The DNA analysis costs 242 euros (€) per person (amount indexed on the 01/03/2022). The minimum amount will therefore always be 484 euro: 242 euro for the parent in Belgium and 242 euro for the child applying for the visa. If the test is offered for several children, the amount increases (242 euros for the parent in Belgium + 242 euros multiplied by the number of children). If in exceptional and motivated circumstances, you need more than 6 months to collect the sum, we ask you to confirm your interest in the procedure. Indeed, if we don’t hear from you, after six months, your case will be closed and the DNA procedure will be permanently closed.
Step 2 –The collection of the DNA sample by the Belgian embassy or consulate.
In case of payment (even partial), your family may go to the diplomatic post for the sample. Depending on the health situation in the country, reviewed weekly, and its schedule, the post will decide on the possible date of sampling. Neither the DNA section nor Erasmus can help you for this. Any request for information concerning the samples of applicants or any request for appointment must be addressed exclusively to the diplomatic post whose email address is included in the activating email for the DNA procedure.
On the day of the sampling, the applicant must have a small amount in local currency to pay the doctor or nurse who takes the blood sample. This amount may vary from one country to another. It is recommended to consult the embassy's/competent post's website for the practical details.
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 the one used 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 FPS. Foreign Affairs in Brussels, and then transmitted to Erasmus.
Step 3 – The collection of the DNA sample at the Erasmus Hospital
It is only after reception of your family's samples and of the total payment of the analysis fees that Erasmus will call you to arrange an appointment for your own sample. Therefore please avoid contacting them unless the delivery times seem abnormally long (more than 3 weeks) or if your telephone details have changed.
Warning : 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 postponed until the payment of the analysis is complete.
IN SHORT: :
- Please send the scanned documents by email only to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Activation of the DNA procedure (the DNA section notifies Erasmus and the diplomatic post)
- Samples at the post by appointment only, after payment, even partial, only. Any request for information must be addressed exclusively to the diplomatic post.
- Shipment of the samples by diplomatic pouch to Erasmus hospital (it may take 2-3 weeks) )
- As soon as the Erasmus hospital receives the samples and the full payment, they contact you by phone to schedule your appointment.
Step 4 – The DNA analysis.
From the moment all the samples taken are at Erasmus, you must count 4 to 6 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.