Do You Wish You Knew A Therapist Who Provided Immigration Evaluations?
Are you uncertain if you’ll be able to remain in the United States? Do you feel stressed out by how complicated the immigration process is? Maybe you are trying to stay with your family or you are seeking political asylum. Or perhaps a family member of yours could be removed from the country, and the thought of you being separated from them is causing mental and emotional hardship. Unsure if you will be able to remain together, you may be feeling anxious or depressed. Your attorney may have asked you to get a psychological evaluation, but you don’t know how to.
If this is the case, our therapists would be honored to serve you. For over two decades, SMPsychotherapy & Counseling has been helping individuals and families strengthen their immigration cases and ensure that they can remain in the United States. Our goal is to obtain the necessary documentation for your case and guide you through the process so that you can live freely and comfortably with your loved ones. We will provide you with a safe, nurturing environment in which to freely share your struggles and discuss how we can support you.
What Is A Psychological Evaluation?
A psychological immigration evaluation is an essential step in obtaining legal status in the US. The goal of the assessment is to determine if you are eligible to live here. When you meet with one of our therapists, they will ask you about your family history, work history, and medical and psychiatric history. Afterward, they will provide a written report of your evaluation to be sent to your lawyer.
What Are The Reasons I Would Need An Immigration Evaluation?
There are five major reasons a psychological evaluation is needed for legal proceedings. They are outlined below:
Extreme And Exceptional Hardship
Applying for the hardship waiver can help you if separation from a relative of yours (who lives in the United States) would cause you harm. For instance, suppose your significant other is forced to relocate to another country, but they are your caretaker and you would suffer without them. In this case, we would encourage you to apply for this waiver. The immigration evaluation we perform would have one goal: explaining what kind of hardship you would face if your loved one isn’t there in your life.
A waiver for political asylum can be granted if you are forced to leave your home country and flee to the United States. You may have faced systemic oppression, extreme deprivation, or persecution based on your religious or political beliefs. If so, the immigration evaluation will help you prove that the psychological damage you suffered is too great for you to return to your home country. One of our therapists will gently and comfortably help you explore any issues with anxiety, depression, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that your trauma caused.
Spousal Abuse, or VAWA (Violence Against Women Act)
If you are an undocumented immigrant who married a US citizen, and your spouse has abused you, you are eligible to petition for a legal status separate from them. During your evaluation, our goal will be to prove that you suffered mental, emotional, or physical abuse that necessitates legal separation from your spouse.
Filing for a U-Visa can help you petition for a green card if you were the victim of a crime while in the United States. The crimes may include domestic violence, physical and sexual exploitation, kidnapping, trafficking, rape, and serious misdemeanors.
The T-Visa is similar to the U-Visa, but it only applies if you were trafficked into the United States. In other words, if you were forced into the country for human trafficking purposes and would not have come here otherwise, we recommend applying for the T-Visa. In such a case, our goal will be to document the psychological and emotional effects that human trafficking has had on you.
Begin Your Journey Towards Citizenship
If you are applying for legal status and one of the above categories pertains to your personal experience, we encourage you to contact us. And if you are curious about how the evaluation process works, below are a series of questions and answers designed to alleviate your concerns. We know immigration is stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.
How do I get started?
The first step is emailing or calling us to schedule an appointment with us. Next, you and your therapist will meet two to three times for an in-depth clinical interview. Together, you will determine if you suffer from depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issues.
How do I prepare myself?
You will need to talk with your attorney, who will go over the paperwork and documentation you will need to have ready for us to review. Otherwise, we encourage you to relax and rest assured that we have your best interests in mind. We are here to make the process easy for you, and that means helping you get prepared as well.
What happens during the evaluation?
We will sit down with you and gather information about your family, personal history, education, work, and physical and mental health. The entire interview will probably last about two to three hours. If a longer assessment is needed, we can schedule one or two more interviews.
What happens after the evaluation?
After the assessment, we will produce a written report of your difficulties and the reasons you require a waiver. The report will be sent to your attorney within two weeks of your immigration evaluation. And if you would like to continue seeing your therapist, you are more than welcome to pursue counseling with us. We provide therapy for families, children, teens, and couples.
What does the report look like?
The report is a comprehensive document that goes over your family history, mental health issues, and any other pertinent information that will help your immigration case. We will write the entire report—you don’t have to worry about that aspect.
Do you have bilingual therapists?
Most of our therapists speak both English and Spanish. In the event that you speak another language, we will have an interpreter sit in with us during sessions.
What is the payment plan for an immigration evaluation?
There are a couple options for making your payment: you can either pay the bill in its entirety after the first meeting, or pay half of the total cost after the first meeting and then pay the remainder when the report is complete.
Let Us Help You Make The Immigration Process Easier And Less Intimidating
Immigrating to the US is overwhelming, and that’s why we’re here. We offer a safe space to share your hardships and walk through the evaluation process with a kind, compassionate therapist. To get started, you can email us or call us at 203-800-9778.
At the moment, due to COVID-19, all our immigration evaluation sessions are held online or via phone. We look forward to hearing from you!