Skip to main content

american woman consular officer giving passport to male immigrantThe U visa is a nonimmigrant visa category available to victims of certain qualifying crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement.  The U visa provides temporary legal status and work authorization in the United States.

To qualify for a U visa, an individual must be the victim of a qualifying crime such as such as domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of persons, involuntary servitude, abduction, blackmail, or other similar crimes.

To qualify for a U visa, an individual must have assisted law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

To qualify for a U visa, an individual must have suffered substantial Physical or Mental Abuse as a result of the crime.

An immigration psychological evaluation can document the mental abuse, including the impact of the crime suffered by the individual.

What is psychological evaluation for U Visa?

A psychological evaluation for a U visa is an assessment conducted by a licensed psychologist who specializes in immigration psychology.  An immigration psychologist is a doctor in psychology who is licensed in the state where the client is located at the time of the interview.

The licensed psychologist specializes in immigration psychology, and has a working knowledge of the legal standards, policies and statutes related to your immigration case.  The immigration psychologist never provides legal advice.   The immigration psychologist is able to provide expert testimony if needed.

The immigration psychologist evaluates the psychological impact of the qualifying crime on the victim.  Not all U Visa cases require a psychological evaluation.  It is the immigration attorney who decides whether the psychological evaluation is needed.

Before starting the evaluation, the immigration psychologist will explain the process of your specific evaluation.  However, the immigration psychological evaluation typically entails:

Clinical Interview: The licensed psychologist conducts an interview with the victim to gather information about their experiences, emotions, and any psychological symptoms or distress resulting from the crime. The interview may cover topics such as the nature of the crime, the victim’s reactions, their current emotional state, and any related mental health issues.

Psychological testing: The immigration psychologist will use standardized assessment tools to evaluate the victim’s mental health and determine the psychological impact of the crime. These tools must be valid and reliable in order to meet the admissibility standards.  The immigration psychological evaluation for U Visa typically rules out diagnoses such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other psychological conditions that may have developed as a result of the crime.

Forensic Psychological Report: The immigration psychologist prepares a comprehensive report documenting the findings. The report typically includes information about the victim’s psychological symptoms and the impact of the crime on their mental well-being.  The report must describe the techniques and procedures used during the immigration psychological evaluation.

Expert Opinion: The immigration psychologist provides expert opinions in the forensic report.  Some immigration cases require expert testimony before the courts.

How do immigration psychologists and immigration attorneys work together?

A psychological evaluation is done at the recommendation of the immigration attorney.

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.


Contact us at: