Psychological Evaluations For Immigration Cases
Rosa Ruales and Isabella Moreno provides psychological assessments for a wide range of immigration cases, including: asylum, extreme hardship waivers and domestic violence cases (VAWA).
What exactly is an “immigration assessment”?
An “immigration assessment” refers to a mental health (or psychological) assessment that a therapist does for an immigration case. Depending on the type of immigration case, the assessment will address various psychological aspects related to the legal needs in the case, in addition to assessing current symptoms.
Why is an immigration assessment important?
The therapist’s psychological assessment provides critical evidence for the client’s immigration case, and often it’s THE deciding factor in whether or not a client’s family can stay together or whether a client can escape life-threatening circumstances in their home country. With all this on the line, it’s essential for therapists to train with someone who’s very experienced in doing immigration assessments.
What do the 3 types of immigration cases entail?
1) Asylum cases pertain to people who have recently fled from persecution in their home country and need safety and asylum in the US. Therapists can document the person’s trauma-related symptoms, and this helps prove they’re telling the truth about what they’ve been through.
2) Petitions for extreme hardship waivers are generally cases pertaining to a married couple, where one spouse is a US citizen and the other is an undocumented immigrant. Therapists can assess how the US citizen spouse would suffer extreme hardship if separated from their undocumented spouse and this helps keep the family together. (These cases can also pertain to a US citizen who is petitioning for their undocumented parent.)
3) The domestic violence (VAWA) cases pertain to an undocumented immigrant who’s been abused by their US citizen spouse. If the undocumented immigrant can prove they’ve been abused, then they can have the chance to self-petition for a green card. Therapists can document the signs of abuse and PTSD in order to help prove the person is telling the truth about what they’ve been through.
How quickly do reports need to be done?
Generally there aren’t any hard deadlines and Rosa’s turnaround time is 4-6 weeks per assessment