Immigration Evaluations

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Clinical Evaluations also known as psychological assessments to be used in support of immigration cases.

Have you reached out to an immigration attorney? Has he told you to contact a mental health professional for a psychological assessment or clinical evaluation in support of your immigration case? DaTerra Psychotherapy and Wellness has clinicians licensed in the states of New York, New Jersey and Florida experienced in performing these assessments with a quick turnaround. These can be done online or at the Boca Raton or the Newark office. We also offer them in English, Portuguese and in Spanish, the latter with the assistance of an experienced interpreter, Serafin Falcon.

The stress caused by the uncertainty of whether you’ll be able to remain in the United States can be debilitating. These evaluations are typically done on the documented individual associated with the immigrant’s case; with the exception of VAWA (domestic violence), when the evaluation is performed on the immigrant. 

Are you seeking political asylum? Or perhaps a family member could be removed from the country, and this would cause an extreme hardship to your family because you and your family are financially and/or emotionally dependent on this immigrant? This evaluation may be suggested by your attorney.

 

If this is the case, our therapists would be honored to serve you. Since 2017, DaTerra Psychotherapy and Wellness has been serving the community of Newark and, since 2021, it has opened its office in Boca Raton as well. Most clinicians speak English and Brazilian-Portuguese and, at the Newark office, Fernando Vazquez, our social worker, speaks all three languages fluently: English, Portuguese and Spanish. While we do NOT guarantee that your immigration case will be approved, we do our best to be as thorough as possible to enhance your chances of a successful outcome. Normally we request all the supporting documentation mentioned in your clinical evaluation and attach to the final report, so it is delivered to your attorney as a full packet. 

Our offices are safe, nurturing environments where you can openly share and discuss your narrative and the clinician is able to gather all required information. These sessions are not therapy, yet they can be therapeutic. The focus is to assess and gather all necessary information so a final report can be issued. 

Why do you need a Clinical Evaluation aka psychological evaluation from a Licensed Mental Health Counselor or Licensed Professional Counselor?

 

A clinical evaluation or a psychological evaluation for an immigration case is an essential element in substantiating an immigration case petitioning legal status in the USA. The goal of the assessment is to determine if you are eligible to obtain legal status. When you meet with one of our clinicians, he or she will ask you about your family history, work history, and medical or psychiatric history. They will have you fill out any applicable screening forms such as PHQ-9 (depression), GAD-7 (anxiety), PCL-5 (PTSD). Afterward, they will provide a written report of your evaluation to be sent to your lawyer.

When do attorneys suggest a client contact a therapist for a Clinical Evaluation?

 

There are five common reasons a psychological or clinical evaluation is needed for an immigration legal case. These are as follows:

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Asylum

A waiver for asylum can be granted if an individual experiences life threatening situations where they feel compelled to flee their homecountry and find a safe haven in the USA. This may be characterized by political or religious persecution, systemic oppression, and/or extreme deprivation. The report can assist not only to narrate the story, attach supporting documentation, itemize the impact on the individual’s mental health, suggest a diagnosis if applicable, but also point out the potential catastrophic outcome should the individual not be granted permission to continue to reside in the USA.  One of our clinicians will ask all the questions to assist the client verbalize their struggles, recall all the incidents that can serve as evidence of intimidating and threatening circumstances, and screen for issues with anxiety, depression, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that the traumatic circumstances being fled have engendered. The report will also provide local referrals for psychiatric evaluations and or therapy services that the assessment may determine necessary as treatment. 

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Extreme And Exceptional Hardship


A clinical evaluation for an extreme hardship waiver can help narrate how a separation from a relative of an immigrant (who lives in the United States) would cause harm to an American resident or citizen. The evaluation is performed on the USA citizen or permanent resident in support of the immigrant’s case. For example, if your significant other is forced to relocate to another country, but they are your caretaker and you would suffer without them. In this case, your attorney may encourage you to apply for this waiver and request that you contact a licensed clinician for an evaluation. The immigration evaluation we perform would have one goal: explaining what kind of hardship you would face if your loved one isn’t there in your life.

Spousal Abuse, or VAWA (Violence Against Women Act)


An undocumented immigrant who married a US citizen and experienced any form of abuse by the spouse is eligible to petition for legal status independent of the spouse. During the evaluation, the clinician will assist the immigrant narrate the relationship and any aspect that could constitute domestic violence and or abuse, be it psychological, financial, emotional, or physical abuse.
 

U-Visa

A clinical evaluation for a person petitioning for a U-Visa can help describe the incident (victim of a crime in the USA) and all the implications of it in the immigrant’s life. The crimes may include domestic violence, physical and sexual exploitation, kidnapping, trafficking, rape, and serious misdemeanors.

T-Visa

 

A clinical evaluation for a person petitioning for a U-Visa can help describe the incident (victim of a crime in the USA) and all the implications of it in the immigrant’s life. The crimes may include domestic violence, physical and sexual exploitation, kidnapping, trafficking, rape, and serious misdemeanors.

First Steps, First

 

First call our office (917) 459-2463 and inform us that you are interested in a clinical evaluation for an immigration case. We will then determine whether you will be coming to our Newark office, Boca Raton office, or doing the evaluation appointments online. In order to schedule the first appointment, we will need your name, date of birth and email address. This will allow you to receive an email from TherapyNotes. This is a portal where you will create a password in order to access documentation you will sign and screenings you will answer. A clinician will always be available to assist or answer any questions you may have.
 

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How does it work?


You will pay $1300 total, which includes the two clinical interview-sessions of at least 60 minutes each. The first one can be as long as 90 minutes typically. You will need to share with the clinician the name of your attorney and/or paralegal, their email address, phone number and office address where the report will be mailed. 


We will also need you to email us a few documents, including marriage certificate, copy of passport, incident report (if applicable), family picture (if applicable), any financial obligation such as mortgage payment (if applicable), letter of support from the community (church, friend), which we can assist you draft… 


If a Spanish interpreter is needed, its cost is already included in the original fee. Most clinicians are bilingual Portuguese/English. Brazilian clients have found our office to be very nurturing and culturally competent to address their needs due to the number of clinicians who are originally from Brazil and work at DaTerra Psychotherapy and Wellness. We also cater to a very diverse clientele: individuals from Ecuador, Nigeria, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Portugal, Colombia, etc.
 

Is the attorney allowed to review the report?

 

Yes, a PDF file is shared with your attorney prior to the final report being issued. This will allow the attorney to point out any discrepancy in dates etc that may have occurred. The attorney has one week to respond with an observation or an approval before the final executed report is issued and a scanned copy sent to the attorney and client, and the original copy mailed to the attorney’s office. 
 

Final Report

 

Typically, the report is a comprehensive document that includes demographics information, presenting problem, background history, family history, symptomatology, suggested diagnosis if applicable, and any other pertinent information that will support your immigration case. 


DaTerra Psychotherapy and Wellness goes above and beyond, including attachments to the report of all documentation mentioned that can substantiate claims being made, such as medical documentation, medication labels, support letters, pictures, financial commitments, police reports, etc. This thorough approach may facilitate the process for the attorney and avoid comments from USCIS questioning where the evidence for statements being made is.

 

Methods of Payment

 

Cash, Zelle, Credit card.