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  • Immigration Evaluations

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    Types of Immigration Evaluations



    A psychological evaluation can be beneficial in demonstrating that the removal of an immigrant would cause extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen or a legal resident family member. A thorough psychological report can document a family member’s need for emotional support, caretaking, and/or financial assistance. It can also be critical in predicting the impact of separation on the family member’s social and emotional functioning.

    If you’re applying for an i-601a waiver, or if you have received a request for more evidence in support of your application from your lawyer, a psychological evaluation could be important to demonstrate the hardship your family would face because of a traumatic separation from a family member. A psychological evaluation can also help in instances in which a spouse or family member currently resides in another country (i.e., currently separated) and is deemed inadmissible to the United States (i-601 waiver).


    An evaluation could help demonstrate how political persecution and/or violence in one’s home country can contribute to severe psychological distress. Claudia Olave-Guillermo, MA, MSSW, LCSW-R, has treated clients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and trauma-related conditions for 27 years. Asylum evaluations typically include multiple clinical interviews.


    Psychological evaluations are often critical in immigration cases involving domestic violence or spousal abuse, including verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 was a landmark piece of legislation aimed to protect women who have been victims of gender-based violence. A psychological evaluation can help to demonstrate the traumatic impact of abuse and need for ongoing treatment.

    U VISA

    Victims of crimes typically suffer from severe trauma and emotional distress. Claudia Olave-Guillermo, MA, MSSW, LCSW-R, will assess the specific nature of an individual’s emotional difficulties and the impact on their current functioning. Immigration evaluations for U visas typically involve multiple clinical interviews, and corroborative reports . An in-depth psychological evaluation can demonstrate the ramification of the trauma endured, helping an individual possibly secure status in the United States in order to gain safety and ongoing treatment.


    A T-Visa can be granted to victims of human trafficking and their immediate families if they agree to assist law enforcement in testifying against their perpetrators. In order to be eligible for a T-Visa, an individual must demonstrate that they will endure unusual or severe harm if they were deported from the U.S.

    Unusual or severe harm can include the following:

    *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.

    A psychological evaluation can be helpful in highlighting the specific hardship issues and the mental health consequences of the physical or sexual abuse they endured while they were being trafficked.