Forensic: Immigration Evaluations

Forensic: Immigration Evaluations


It has been well documented that a professional forensic evaluation for immigration proceedings can be a determining factor in a favorable outcome in a case. Between 2000 and 2004, 89% of asylum seekers had favorable outcomes and won their cases after receiving medical evaluations when compared to the national average of only 37 percent of asylum seekers who did not receive an evaluation. Dr. Lopez is an experienced licensed psychologist that has conducts evaluations for immigration proceedings that include:

  • Extreme Hardship to Children and Adults
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
  • Political Asylum
  • Spousal Abuse
  • U Visas
  • T Visas

Extreme and Exceptional Hardship to Children and Adults

In exceptional and extreme cases, a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident may be eligible to apply for a waiver for a parent, fiancée, spouse, or child who is at risk of being deported from the country. The petitioner would apply for a waiver on the basis that deportation would result in extreme and exceptional hardship. Some common reasons to apply for a waiver include,

  • Family separation
  • Economic detriment
  • Difficulties of readjusting to life in the new country
  • The quality and availability of educational opportunities abroad
  • Inferior quality of medical services and facilities
  • Ability to pursue a chosen employment abroad

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), you may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident (get a Green Card) if you are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty committed by:

  • A U.S. citizen spouse or former spouse
  • A U.S. citizen parent
  • A U.S. citizen son or daughter
  • A lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or former spouse
  • An LPR parent

You may self-petition under VAWA by filing a Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant without your abusive family member’s knowledge or consent. A person who files a VAWA self-petition is generally known as a VAWA self-petitioner. If your self-petition is approved and you meet other eligibility requirements, you may be eligible to apply to become a lawful permanent resident. -uscis.gov

Spousal Abuse

A person from a foreign country who marries a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident experiences spousal abuse that can take the form of verbal, physical, sexual, or psychological mistreatment may be able to self-petition for an immigrant visa without the abuser’s knowledge.

U Visa

The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act (VTVPA) of 20001, passed with bipartisan support in Congress, encourages victims to report crimes and contribute to investigations and prosecutions regardless of immigration status, and supports law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute crimes committed against immigrant victims. The U visa is an immigration benefit that can be sought by victims of certain crimes who are currently assisting or have previously assisted law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of a crime or who are likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. The U visa provides eligible victims with nonimmigrant status in order to temporarily remain in the United States (U.S.) while assisting law enforcement. If certain conditions are met, an individual with U nonimmigrant status may adjust to lawful permanent resident status. Immigrants, especially women and children, can be particularly vulnerable to crimes like human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and other abuse due to a variety of factors. -dhs.gov

T Visa

T nonimmigrant status is a temporary immigration benefit that enables certain victims of a severe form of human trafficking to remain in the United States for up to 4 years if they have assisted law enforcement in an investigation or prosecution of human trafficking. T nonimmigrant status is also available for certain qualifying family members of trafficking victims. T nonimmigrants are eligible for employment authorization. T nonimmigrants who qualify may also be able to adjust their status and become lawful permanent residents (obtain a Green Card). -uscis.gov

Political Asylum

Individuals that have suffered persecution in their country of origin due to race, religion, nationality, gender, or political opinion may be eligible for asylum and may be permitted to remain in the United States. A psychological evaluation will help determine whether psychological problems were experienced by the petitioner.

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