There are four main cases where psychological evaluation may be necessary for immigrants. In these cases, an immigration psychological evaluation may be instrumental in their ability to become a citizen and live successfully in the United States of America. In the evaluation, if they are deemed to have undergone extreme hardship, they will be allowed to stay legally in the United States.
In cases of extreme hardship, an immigration psychological evaluation may be necessary. This is when moving to a foreign country is especially hard on a person due to circumstances outside of the immigrant’s control including having an anxiety disorder due to separation, having to leave someone in need behind, someone that they needed help from leaving them or lacking medical treatment. In these cases, denying citizenship would cause terrible hardship, so they can stay. For example, if an immigrant living in the US is the main caretaker for their mentally disabled, citizen child, they would be allowed to stay due to extreme hardship that would be placed upon the family if the caretaker was sent home.
When a male or female immigrant married to a citizen is abused by their spouse, they may need a psychological evaluation. Examples of abuse may include verbal, physical, sexual, or psychological. This abuse may be a reason for the immigrant to stay in the country, divorced from their abuser. Abuse is determined in the evaluation, and then a course of action is recommended, either granting the immigrant citizenship due to extreme hardship or returning them to their country.
When an immigrant is a victim of a serious crime in the United States, they are often granted citizenship. The crime can include many things, including sexual harassment, involuntary servitude, sexual exploitation, rape, and domestic violence. Although sometimes it is hard to differentiate between this and the last cause, either way, they need an evaluation. It is then determined if the crime causes mental trauma to the victim in the evaluation. If so, the immigrant is usually granted citizenship.
Finally, the last reason to grant citizenship due to extreme hardship is political asylum. In some cases, immigrants are prosecuted for religion, race, gender, politics, or sexual orientation, and in those cases, an evaluation is needed as well. If it is determined that the immigrant has post-traumatic stress disorder, they will likely be granted citizenship. In this case, undue hardship is psychological distress due to discrimination and persecution.
Psychological Evaluations allow thousands of immigrants to be granted citizenship each year. They are carried out by top mental health professionals and have several steps. First, they identify data. Then they consider the client’s past and present and the impact of the events that have happened to the individual. Finally, they look at any factors that could make the mental health of the client worse, in the case that the waiver was denied, and the immigrant was sent back to their home country. The evaluation, while costly, can be the difference between acceptance and denial.