What are immigration evaluations and who can do them?

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An immigration evaluation is any type of mental health evaluation that is used in an immigration case.  There are many kids, but the most common fall into one of three main categories:

1.Extreme hardship waiver & cancellation of removal

In these, you evaluate the US citizen or LPR (lawful permanent resident) to determine how they would be affected if their immigrant family member was not permitted to remain in the US.

2. Asylum, VAWA, U & T visas

These types of evaluations are all based on a traumatic experience. In these, you are evaluating the immigrant to determine the effect that the trauma had on them.  

3. Naturalization waivers or N-648

This is a waiver for someone who is unable to take the naturalization test due to cognitive or severe psychological impairments. 

Who can complete them?

In general, most licensed mental health clinicians can complete most of these evaluations. In some cases (if your state allows it) a pre-licensed clinician can complete the evaluation as long as it is signed off by a licensed supervisor. Naturalization waivers (N-648) can only be completed by a doctoral-level psychologist or a medical provider. 

P.S. For more information on immigration evaluations, be sure to sign up for my Quickstart Guide to Immigration Evaluations.

Cecilia Racine: Immigration Evaluation Therapist

I’m Cecilia Racine, and I teach therapists how to help immigrants through my online courses. As a bilingual immigrant myself, I know the unique perspective that these clients are experiencing. I’ve conducted over 500 evaluations and work with dozens of lawyers in various states. Immigrants are my passion, I believe they add to the fabric of our country.

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