Immigration Psychological Assessments

What is an immigration psychological assessment?

An immigration psychological assessment is an in-depth review and evaluation of biological, psychological and social history of the past and present. It thoroughly goes through the events which led to seeking protection and relocation into another country. It emphasizes the psychological impact of your immigration experience.

Why would I need one?

Immigration psychological assessments are used with other medical evaluations performed during the visa application process. Using the information gathered in the evaluation, a thorough report is created to demonstrate psychological evidence utilized in various immigration claims.

What does the assessment process look like?

In the immigration psychological assessment, we review your overall psychological well being, current mental health state, and how you have been adjusting to being in a new country. The evaluation can be conducted in one 3-hour session or 3 hour long sessions:

  • First hour/First Session: Biopsychosocial history

  • Second Hour/Second Session: Detailed history of specific and relevant experiences precipitating relocation to a new country

  • Third Hour/Third Session: Administer psychometric questionnaires (which may include one or all of the following: Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) Scale, Beck’s Depression Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Sclae, HITS Domestic Violence Screening, Relationship Assessment Tool).

The assessment will then be written up in 5-7 business days. A copy of the psychological assessment is then sent to you and your lawyer for review and any/all necessary revisions needed to ensure the assessment report is completed to the best of its ability in your immigration case.

What are the different types of immigration cases and how can a immigration psychological assessment help specifically with each?

Asylum Cases- In cases of asylum, one is usually fleeing their country to seek safe haven from a traumatic event, and must run due to consequential oppression following this event. An immigration psychological assessment details the impact of trauma and its symptoms continuing to affect a person, and supplements advocacy for asylum of this person.

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)- Cases of VAWA usually include women who are survivors of domestic violence. An immigration psychological assessment would allow for the impact of sexual, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse to be highlighted.

T-Visas and U-Visas- T-Visas are sought in cases of human trafficking while U-Visas assess the mental health and well-being of a person who is a victim of a crime. Crimes can include sexual abuse, sexual harassment, abduction, extortion, fraud, false imprisonment, rape, stalking, murder, torture, hostage and blackmail. A psychological evaluation in this case establishes evidence of the impact of trauma and psychological abuse on a person’s well being after undergoing trafficking and/or being a victim of a crime.

Extreme Hardship cases- In cases of extreme hardship, we often see the psychological impact on a person who has been separated from a family member after their family member is denied a visa. In cases like these an immigration psychological assessment allows us to evaluate the mental health, medical disability/illness, family and country home life conditions, and financial conditions that have created the hardship of the separation from a family member.


Andrea Santiago ensures to complete a thorough psychological assessment, meticulously written to stress the immense impact of the immigration experience on your mental health. She leads these assessments from a place of cultural humility, ensuring the utmost respect for diversity. She provides these assessments both in English and Spanish. These assessments can be completed in-person or via telehealth. Rates for assessments are $1000.

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