Getting a visa or green card can be highly time-consuming and hard to accomplish. Many people attempting to go through this process are blocked or rejected due to inadmissibility. There are rules and regulations set forth by the Immigration and Nationality Act that land many immigrants in the “inadmissible,” category meaning they are not permitted by law to enter or remain in the United States. The primary types of inadmissibility are part of but not limited to the following:
● Drug addictions, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, a lack of vaccinations, extreme physical or mental disorders which can cause harm, etc.
● Drug crimes that occur in the U.S. or other countries, morally devoid criminal activity, criminal activity that results in five or more years of jail, prostitution and exploitation, sex crimes and trafficking, or money laundering.
● You are falsely claiming U.S. citizenship, entering the country illegally as a stowaway, the abuse of a student visa, etc.
● You are falsifying/misrepresenting information to obtain a visa or committing fraud while in the visa application process.
● Prior removals from the United States, threats to national security, lack of labor certification, public charges, and several other miscellaneous categories.
When found inadmissible for any reason, it is almost impossible to gain access to the United States. Immigration hardship waivers are one way to tackle this problem. Once an individual has been found inadmissible, the USCIS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will look at and review the matter if an immigration hardship waiver is submitted. These waivers can only be used if the individual trying to gain access to the U.S. has a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, spouse, parent, child, or qualifying relative that lives in the United States. The waiver states that this qualifying relative will suffer from a level of extreme hardship if the individual trying to gain access is not permitted.
In some instances, the hardship waiver is not enough evidence to convince the USCIS. Appointed attorneys and representatives will more than likely ask applicants to meet with a psychologist to have an immigration hardship evaluation done on their behalf. This type of evaluation documents the various hardships that the qualifying relative will face if their family member can not be with them. Hardship waivers can also be paired with an evaluation if an applicant faces deportation.
Just like any other medical consultation or evaluation, the process can be anxiety-provoking if never done before. The initial interview between you and close family members will help the evaluator understand important psychological, medical, and social background information, as well as your current level of cognitive and psychological functioning. Immigration hardship evaluations are extensive as they aim to investigate the many aspects of an individual’s life so that a proper assessment can be made. Being deported or having family members who can’t enter the country due to being inadmissible can be very overwhelming and can have drastic effects on multiple lives when it occurs. This assessment not only helps in that aspect but is also made to reconcile what could turn out to be a hazardous and even terrifying situation for whoever would be left behind in the wake of such an action.
Effective immigration hardship evaluations should always include a detailed personal history of the person being examined along with the waiver applicant and family members. It should thoroughly and accurately detail the patient’s unique circumstances that make them vulnerable to hardship. Along with that, the evaluation should describe the emotional impact of both separation and re-location. In other words, it must discuss the emotional and psychological effects on the qualifying relative if they become separated from the applicant due to inadmissibility and the psychological and emotional impact on the qualifying relative if they were to relocate abroad to be with the applicant.
If necessary, your evaluator will administer psychological tests and questionnaires to help figure out specific areas where psychological difficulties may occur due to hardship. This part of the evaluation is essential because the USCIS can discount the credibility of a psychological diagnosis if there is not enough evidence or details to support it. The review must give a clear summary of the patient’s psychological and medical history, including the length of time the patient has suffered from any disorders and medical illnesses; any treatments received, including surgery; and the medications the patient has been prescribed. Discussing a history of the previously diagnosed psychological condition (s) will go a long way towards establishing credibility.
After completing an evaluation, the information gathered results in a compiled assessment that can be given to an attorney to be utilized in court. At AACS Counseling, our team consists of certified professional health counselors and psychologists who have extensive training in immigration hardship matters and are ready to answer any questions and concerns.