Immigration Evaluations


I am a bilingual (English/Spanish) licensed psychotherapist and qualified supervisor as per Florida State regulations. I have over 33 years of experience in the mental health field and have multicultural competence. I have extensive experience in conducting evaluations and providing treatment. 

Our office specializes in Immigration Mental Health Evaluations. We conduct assessments for the Extreme Hardship Waiver (601 & 601-A,) VAWA, U Visa, T Visa, Cancellation of Removal, and Political Asylum Cases. Clients are assessed in-person at our office or online via a HIPAA compliant platform.

We are open every day, including weekends

Nosotros Hablamos Español. Estamos abiertos todos los dias encluidos los fines de semana. Tambien hacemose evaluaciones en linea por telesalud (online telehealth.)

Why Do I Need a Mental Health Evaluation for Immigration status?
A clinical mental health evaluation adds an enormous value to the immigration case. A comprehensive, expert evaluation conducted by a licensed psychotherapist knowledgeable about the factors involved in extreme immigration hardships and the relevant mental health issues, along with a thorough report, can be effectively used by your attorney to support your case and move forward with your immigration proceedings.

What Is an Immigration Mental Health Evaluation?
An Immigration Evaluation is an assessment that is used to help immigration courts determine whether an individual will be able to remain lawfully in the United States.

The evaluation itself involves a meeting with the client, after which the clinician prepares a comprehensive report to be provided to the client’s attorney and eventually viewed by immigration officials.

What Type of Immigration Cases Benefit From an Immigration Mental Health Evaluation?
Immigration Mental Health Evaluations are used in six major areas of immigration proceedings:

  • Extreme Hardship Waiver
  • Domestic Abuse (VAWA)
  • U Visa
  • T Visa
  • Cancellation of Removal
  • Political Asylum

EXTREME HARDSHIP WAIVER: Focuses on the extreme hardships a US citizen or resident may suffer if their loved one is deported or if the US citizen or resident is relocated abroad.   

The purpose of the mental health evaluation is to assess any and all hardships that any and all relevant family members would face if the waiver were not granted. The information obtained in this evaluation is used to answer two main questions:

  1. Would deportation of the immigrant pose an extreme and unusual hardship to the relative in question?
  2. Would it be an extreme and unusual hardship for the lawful-resident relative to accompany the immigrant back to his/her home country in case they are deported?

The professional opinion rendered in a mental health evaluation greatly strengthens the case, and without it, the applicant would have to explain the hardship in his or her own words.

1. Health. Examples include: Ongoing or specialized treatment required for a physical or mental condition, availability or quality of such treatment in the foreign country, anticipated treatment duration, whether the condition is long term, and whether it is chronic or acute;

2. Financial considerations. Examples include: Future employability, loss due to sale of home or business or termination of a professional practice, a decline in standard of living, ability to recoup short-term losses, cost of extraordinary needs (such as special education or training for children with special needs), or the cost of care for family members such as elderly or sick parents;

3. Education. Examples include: Loss of opportunity for higher education, lower quality or limited scope of education options, disruption of a current program, requirement to be educated in a foreign language or culture with ensuing loss of time or grade, and availability of special requirements, such as training programs or internships in specific fields;

4. Personal considerations. Examples include: Close relatives in the United States and country of birth or citizenship, separation from spouse or children, ages of involved parties, and length of residence and community ties in the United States; and

5. Special factors. Examples include: Cultural, language-related, religious, and ethnic obstacles; valid fears of persecution, physical harm, or injury; social ostracism or stigma; and lack of access to social institutions or structures (official or unofficial) that provide support, guidance, or protection.

DOMESTIC ABUSE (VAWA): Under the Federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA,) a person is eligible to become a lawful permanent resident (get a Green Card) if they are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty. Cases of severe emotional and psychological abuse need the expertise of a clinician competent in assessing such cases.

“Extreme cruelty” includes, but is not limited to, threats of violence, forceful detention, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, rape, molestation, incest (if the victim is a minor,) and forced prostitution.

The signs of abuse are not always apparent, and no one else has observed the abuse, or the victim is too scared to seek help and assistance. Examples of nonviolent acts that may also constitute extreme cruelty are social isolation of the victim, threats of deportation, threat of bodily harm, not allowing the victim to get a job, degrading the victim, and humiliating the victim privately and/or publicly. The most important goal of VAWA is to allow the victim to sever dependency on their abusive spouse by allowing them to file for permanent residency, without their spouse’s consent, help, support or participation of any kind. 

VICTIMS OF CRIME (U VISA)The U-visa evaluation is conducted on the direct or indirect victim of a felony, including the parents of children victims of child sexual abuse, who have assisted the authorities with the prosecution of the criminal and have suffered psychological/physical harm as the result of the crime. The goal of the immigration mental health evaluation is to assess the extent of serious physical, mental, or emotional consequences of the experience.

VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING (T VISA)The evaluation is conducted for victims who have entered the United States because they were forced, abducted, or deceived by a perpetrator of human trafficking, and they have assisted authorities with the prosecution of the perpetrator. The goal of the psychological evaluation is to assess the extent of serious physical, mental, or emotional consequences of the experience.

Under Federal Law, a “severe form of trafficking” is:

  • Sex trafficking: When someone recruits, harbors, transports, provides, solicits, patronizes, or obtains a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, where the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or the person being induced to perform such act is under 18 years of age; or
  • Labor trafficking: When someone recruits, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL: In an immigrant removal case, the client must establish that his/her removal would cause extreme hardship to the qualifying relative. When extreme psychological hardship is uncovered through a mental health evaluation, pending deportation may be canceled by the court.

POLITICAL ASYLUM: Focuses on clients who have been exposed to extreme abuse, torture, persecution, and deprivation in their home country because of their religion, race, nationality, membership in organizations, or political beliefs. The evaluation focuses on the psychological impact these circumstances had on the immigrant. (A 2008 study from the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health found asylum cases with mental health evaluations were 89% successful. By contrast, the national average without one was 37.5%.)


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