Psychological Immigration Evaluations
Immigration hardship evaluations are psychological reports written by a mental health professional in relation to a pending immigration case. This is usually done in conjunction with an immigration attorney. An immigration attorney is the only one who can advocate for the non-permanent resident who wants to stay in the US. So, the role of the immigration evaluation therapist is to assess the potential psychological impact of removing the non-permanent resident on the legal resident.
As the immigration evaluation therapist, it is my responsibility to interview the legal resident learn about their relationship with the non-permanent resident. How did they meet? How deeply entangled is this person in their life? What benefit do you give each other? The greater the measure to which it can be demonstrated the non-resident they are trying to keep here is of physical, financial, emotional, or of psychological importance — the better.
Who Needs a Psychological Evaluation?
The process of the psychological evaluation aims to predict the hardship or distress that would be experienced by a US citizen as a result of deportation. The typical situations that call for an immigration evaluation are:
- Asylum seekers
- A family that is facing economic or social hardship if an undocumented family member were to be deported
- A spouse requesting for their undocumented partner to stay with them, as it would create a hardship if they left
- People requesting to stay in the country if they have been a victim of domestic violence
The process often starts with a referral from an immigration attorney, although we will accept self-referred clients. Because we are not attorneys, our job is simply to present a diagnosis and an argument within the report stating why there will be detriment to this family if the non-resident is removed.