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psychology advice, support and evaluationEmbarking on the journey of immigration to Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, and other states often involves a series of evaluations and assessments, one of which may include a psychological evaluation. This assessment aims to understand the mental health status and resilience of individuals in the immigration process and their relatives.  A common question that arises is whether an immigration psychological evaluation is needed in Georgia.

The Significance of a Mental Health evaluation or immigration psychological evaluation

Not all cases need an immigration psychological evaluation.  Your immigration attorney is the best person to decide whether your case will benefit from a mental health evaluation or an immigration psychological evaluation. 

Benefits of a Mental Health evaluation or immigration psychological evaluation

The focus of the immigration psychological evaluation varies according to the needs of the case.  The immigration psychologist does not decide the focus of the evaluation; instead, it is the need of the legal cases that determines the specific psycho-legal issues to be explored during the evaluation.  The psychological evaluation is prepared for the benefit of those assessing the merits of the case, as they require information to make sound legal decisions.    

For example, in hardship or waiver cases, the immigration psychological evaluation focuses on exploring the nature and extend of the hardships presented by the qualifying relative.  These hardship can be associated with matters of finance, medical issues, mental health complications, language impairments, and more. 

Other examples relate to VAWA cases, U Visa, T Visa and asylum cases which typically require a mental health evaluation or immigration psychological evaluation to describe the nature of trauma (if present) and the impact of the trauma.   

When Does USCIS Require a Mental Health Evaluation?

It’s important to remember that not every immigration applicant needs a mental health evaluation. Mental health evaluations may be recommended if there are concerns documented in your medical records, if there are observations made by the Civil Surgeon during your immigration medical exam that raise concerns, or if your visa category has additional screening requirements that may include a mental health evaluation.

Most often, it is the immigration attorney who will recommend an immigration psychological evaluation that may answer important psychology-related issues relevant to the case.    

What to Expect During a Mental Health Evaluation

If you are required to undergo a mental health evaluation, here’s what you can generally expect:

  •           Interview: The psychologist will conduct a clinical interview, asking about your mental health history, current symptoms, and any past treatment.
  •           Potential Testing: Some evaluations might include psychological testing for more in-depth assessment.
  •           Review of Records: The psychologist may request your previous medical records or speak to past healthcare providers with your consent.
  •           Report: The psychologist will prepare a detailed report of their findings.

Preparing for the Evaluation 

If you need an immigration psychological evaluation, there are things you can do to prepare.  Gather any relevant medical or mental health records about your mental health history.  Answer openly and in a forthright manner.  Don’t hesitate to ask the psychologist questions about the process or voice any concerns you might have. 

Additional Considerations

  •           Language Barriers: If English isn’t your first language, request an interpreter for the evaluation.

  •           Cost: Be aware that these evaluations are typically paid for by the person being evaluated
  •           Confidentiality: Remember, psychologists are ethically bound to protect your confidentiality, but your will be asked to release the psychological report to your attorney.

Your Path with Immigration Psychology

After you immigration attorney has recommended a psychological evaluation, contact us for professional and trustworthy evaluations.