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american immigration and united states refugee crisisThere are multiple types of immigration waivers, including the I-601 waiver and I-601A waiver.  These waivers are similar but have different purposes.

What is the I-601 Waiver?

The I-601 Waiver is a waiver of inadmissibility for individuals deemed ineligible for a visa or green card. The I-601 waiver is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and it is used to request forgiveness for the specific grounds of inadmissibility.

Where is the I-601 Waiver filed?

It is filed with USCIS while the foreigner is outside the United States.

What is the I-601A Waiver?

The I-601A Waiver is also a waiver of inadmissibility, but it allows eligible individuals who are already in the United States to request forgiveness for their unlawful presence.

Where is the I-601A Waiver filed?

The I-601A waiver is filed with USCIS before the individual departs the United States to attend their visa interview at a United States’ consulate abroad.

What is a psychological evaluation for I-601 hardship waiver and I-601A hardship waiver?

When recommended by an immigration attorney, the waiver application (I-601 or I-601A) can include an immigration psychological evaluation explaining how the eligible family member is affected by the absence or removal of the foreigner.

An immigration psychological evaluation for hardship waivers is an independent medical examination of mental health issues.  The immigration psychologist interviews and administers psychological testing to determine if the individual suffers from or is at risk of developing mental health complications.

How do I prepare for a psychological evaluation for I-601 or I-601A hardship waiver?

There are a few things you can do to prepare.  Confirm your appointment and arrive on time.  Bring with you any mental health records as well as current medical diagnoses and current medications.

Try to relax and allow the immigration psychologist to guide you through the evaluation process.  The immigration psychologist will have specific questions, and you should provide complete and honest answers.  The immigration psychologist will also administer psychological tests.  Be prepared to answer personal questions in a forthright manner.  All questions and testing are meant to gather information relevant to the hardship evaluation.

The evaluation will be several hours long.  Thus, be sure to rest and eat before the time of your appointment.

What do I have to bring to the psychological evaluation for I-601 or I-601A hardship waiver?

It would be helpful to bring previous mental health records as well as your current medical diagnoses and current medications.

How can I prove extreme hardship? 

Just tell your personal and family history and complete the psychological tests administered by the immigration psychologist.

The immigration psychologist will ask you questions about your personal history, family structure, and personal experiences.  The goal of these questions is to gather as much information as possible about your background, medical history, and mental health history.  Psychological testing will be used to assess your emotional and mental health functioning.

Ultimately, you can prove hardship by participating in the evaluation, answering all questions, and completing the psychological tests that are meant to document the unique hardships present in your case.

How do immigration psychologists and immigration attorneys work together in hardship waivers?

Immigration psychologists and Immigration Attorneys have a working relationship that must protect the independence of opinion and the objectivity of each professional.

Immigration psychologists must understand rules of admissibility to determine whether the testing and procedures used are valid and reliable enough to stand the scrutiny of the court and other experts.  Immigration psychologists must understand how to provide testimony as required by the case.

How can I contact an immigration psychologist? 

Immigration Psychology, Inc. has Florida immigration psychologists, North Carolina immigration psychologists, South Carolina immigration psychologists, and experts in other states.


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