What Are Immigration Evaluations?
Updated: Mar 30
“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions.” - George Washington
There are more and more people every year applying for various waivers and petitions in order to stay in the United States and build a better life for themselves and their families. Immigration has been a hot topic in our country for years and will for years to come. Immigration evaluations are clinical assessments that a licensed mental health professional can provide as a professional service for persons who are navigating through immigration proceedings. Immigration evaluations can be helpful to many individuals that have experienced hardships.
A clinical professional can assist you with writing an immigration evaluation to highlight the specific hardships that one has experienced.
The most common immigration evaluation cases include
Extreme Hardship Waivers
VAWA Cases (Violence Against Women Act)
U Visa Cases
T Visa Cases
Asylum Cases: The person who would qualify for asylum cases has a well founded fear of persecution upon returning to their home country due to their involvement with a targeted social group that could be dangerous including:
Individuals fleeing gang violence
Extreme Hardship Waivers: In an extreme psychological hardship case, a citizen or resident of the United States applies for the immigration waiver because the deportation of a family member will cause extreme hardship for themselves or their family. The court considers a hardship to be “extreme” only if the impact on the family is unusual or beyond what would be normally expected from deportation.Identifying unique factors contributing to a client’s psychological distress.
Extreme hardship waivers can include:
Severe psychological distress
Violent country conditions
Client or family member having medical or psychiatric conditions
Child learning disorders or developmental delays
Negative financial impacts
Loss of career or retirement benefits
Risk of suicide or Homicide
VAWA Cases (Violence Against Women Act): The violence against women act allows immigrants that are victims of domestic violence to recieve a green card independent of their abusive citizen spouses. A psychological evaluation will help establish the psychological impact that the verbal, physical, or sexual abuse had on the individual.
Factors relevant for VAWA evaluations include:
Any individual regardless of their gender who has experienced domestic violence or are currently being abused by a United States citizen or permanent resident. Violence can be committed by:
US citizen spouses
US citizen parents
US citizen son or daughter
Permanent US resident
U Visa Cases: Individuals who would like to be involved in a U Visa case typically help with law enforcement or government officials to investigate or prosecute criminal activity that they have experienced.
Common qualifying crimes but not limited to include:
T Visa Cases: Individuals who would like to be involved in a T Visa case typically help law enforcement or government officials to investigate or prosecute criminal activity that they have experienced. A psychological evaluation can be helpful, It is also not uncommon for individuals to develop depressive disorders or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Common qualifying factors:
Age and personal circumstances of the T-Visa applicant.
Serious physical or mental illness of the T-Visa applicant because treatment is not available in their home country.
High likelihood of re-victimization.
Reasonable expectation of punishment by the trafficker or related individuals upon return to their country.
What to Expect to Receive an Evaluation
For an Immigration Evaluation, you should expect to meet in person or virtually with your clinician for at least 2-3 sessions to gather the information needed to create your documentation to be submitted to your lawyer. You can expect for there to be an interview with you and close members of your family, a review of your medical and psychological history, and psychological questionnaires. .The assessment completed by your clinician will be a thorough assessment approximately 12-15 pages in length that could take around 3-4 weeks to be completed. Once complete, it will be given to your attorney
Immigration evaluations can be helpful to many individuals that have experienced hardships. Your clinical professional can assist you with writing an immigration evaluation to highlight the specific hardships that one has experienced related to their case.