Patronymics is not the 'name' of the game

Wednesday, March 19, 2014    

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Q: My father is a United States citizen and wants to file for me. The problem is, I don't have his surname and the surname that is on my birth certificate is not his. A DNA test was conducted in the US by a lab approved by US Immigration (DDC DNA), which proves the paternity. Can my father still file for me, although we have different surnames?

A: It is not necessary to have the same last name as the family members who are filing for you. Once your father has filed a petition and it has been approved by USCIS, you will come in to interview for the visa. The consular officer will ask you about your relationship with your father, and ask for any proof of your relationship, and will take the DNA test into consideration if not enough other evidence is available. Depending on when the test was conducted, it may be necessary to have another test done. In any case, having the same surname is not a requirement. Assuming you and your father meet the other visa requirements, this would not stand in the way of you being issued

a visa.

You can read more about the requirements for this type of immigrant visa on our website,

The USCIS also has a wealth of information on their site about the different immigrant visa categories, and how to apply:

Reminder for US citizens

All US citizens who live outside of the United States and want to vote by absentee ballot must complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) every year if they wish to vote from abroad. For more information, please visit the You may drop off your voting materials with postage affixed at the US Embassy in Kingston or at the US consular agencies in Montego Bay and the Cayman Islands for delivery to the United States.

The Embassy staff in Kingston will answer questions you may have regarding the US Mission, including consular law, regulations and/or practice. In order to respect privacy, staff will not answer questions about specific visa applications. The embassy employs a visa appointment system, so it is only necessary for visa applicants to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment.

Send your questions to: editorial@jamaicaobserver. com and we will send them to the embassy.





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