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What is an immigration evaluation?

Apr 18, 2021

In the best of circumstances, an immigration process can be stressful and bring many challenges for children and the family. Adjusting to a new culture has not been easy for you, and changing your legal status in the United States can be overwhelming. Over a decade, we have helped many children and families through immigration evaluations in Miami, Orlando, and the State of Florida to help them with their immigration process. If your attorney has recommended that you obtain an evaluation from a psychologist or mental health provider, we can help.

 Why is an immigration evaluation necessary?

 A mental health evaluation by a professional who understands the different stages of development of each individual and the family, as well as family relationships and adjustment problems that may be caused by the cultural transitions of their children and/or family can be key to your case. An immigration evaluation can identify the unique circumstances that make you specifically vulnerable to separating from a family member, which could result in long-term psychological problems and extreme hardship due to health, housing, education, finances, or any other factors in your specific case. In other circumstances, you may be applying to asylum in the United States and you need to support your case through a clinical interview of what occurred to you in your home country and the impact on your current psychological functioning. You may be applying to immigration relief due to being a victim of abuse or crime. Or you may need to show proof that you are unable to learn English or civics to exempt you from taking a citizenship exam. In these cases, an immigration evaluation may be necessary.

 Which is the process to follow?

 We recommend that you work with an attorney who can determine if an evaluation is necessary. When you call our office, we will ask questions about the type of case you are applying to and determine who needs evaluated within your family. Most evaluations are done in one full day (morning and afternoon) but the evaluation process can take several sessions in which we will ask questions about your childhood, family, work, your medical and psychological history, finances, school, and any other pertinent information, depending on your case. Other types of evaluation may require assessing your cognitive functioning, academic functioning, and emotional functioning.

 How long does the evaluation process take and what is the cost?

 The process can take 5 to 8 hours done in 1 to 3 sessions. The report will take two to three weeks from the last session, as most reports are over ten pages long. Please plan accordingly as you may not be able to get an appointment for a few weeks, as our work is thorough and we are busy. In some cases, we have managed to rush the process as long as we have the availability, working weekends or nights for an additional cost. We cannot provide an estimate of the cost of your evaluation because each case is unique and we will estimate how many hours are required for the direct evaluation and report writing. In some cases, your attorney may require us to testify in court and if this is the case, we will assess how much time it will take us to prepare for court and to be available to testify in person or telephonically, depending on location. Please call the office so we can talk about your case.

 At our Miami and Orlando offices, we have school and clinical neuropsychologists with several years of experience working with immigrant populations of cultural and linguistic diversity. We have assisted families in immigration cases who are requesting an I-601 or other waivers due to extreme hardship, victims of abuse (VAWA), crime victim (U Visa), asylum, cancellation of removal, and medical certification for disability exceptions for the citizen examination (form N-648). Our experience includes working with adults and children. We speak English and Spanish, although we have also worked with interpreters. We are here to help you and your family in Miami (305) 800-9399 or Orlando (407) 809-5680. We provide Telehealth services in Florida.