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Expedited immigration evaluations don’t happen all the time, but it’s important to prepare for them as much as possible. Immigration therapists should familiarize themselves with the process as there are time constraints.
In summary, these evaluations occur when a client requires your services in a relatively short amount of time. It typically takes under a week, meaning the clinician will need to work quickly and efficiently.
This article will explain expedited immigration evaluations by answering some frequently asked questions on the topic. The goal is to make all immigration therapists feel more comfortable with the process.
Why would a client need an expedited immigration evaluation?
There are a few common reasons for this kind of evaluation. Firstly, the client might have recently hired a lawyer or had their court date moved up. This means they’ll need a valid evaluation in time for the court proceedings.
On the other hand, they might have not known that evaluations are necessary. It can be difficult to keep up with the immigration requirements, especially if English is not the client’s first language.
There’s also the possibility that a client will purposefully put off the evaluation because of how emotionally taxing it can be. Many people find it extremely difficult to talk about their history and potentially dive into past traumas.
What is the process behind this kind of evaluation?
Most clinicians will go through the same process as any other evaluation. You cannot cut any corners as it’s incredibly important for the evaluation report to be done well, regardless of the circumstances. The only difference is that the timeline for the evaluation is sped up.
However, since you’ll be working in such a tight timeframe, you may not have access to all the necessary documentation. Ideally, you should refer to letters from doctors, school records, etc. If it’s possible to source and review these documents, take the time to do so.
Do immigration therapists charge an extra fee for expedited evaluations?
Most clinicians do charge an extra fee as it does take more effort to complete the evaluation. Nevertheless, some therapists don’t charge an extra fee and find a way to make it work.
Personally, I do charge an expedited fee because I have to put all my other work on pause. This entails setting aside the other reports and focusing exclusively on one client. Every clinician has their own work process and they can decide for themelves if they’d like to charge the extra amount.
These are the basics of an expedited immigration evaluation. Generally speaking, there’s no need to let them throw you off. Rather, you should see these evaluations as an opportunity to refine your skills, work effectively, and still manage to meet tight deadlines. At times, the immigration process can entail long waits, case backlogs, and other frustrating delays. For this reason, it makes a huge difference for clients when they receive great service from a dedicated immigration 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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