Immigration Assessments


Even under the best of circumstances, the immigration process and the transition from one culture to another is often a stressful experience, which can often be complicated further when the immigrant and family members face additional difficulties and stressors. Navigating this system can be overwhelming. 

I am a licensed psychotherapist and my comprehensive evaluations include extensive testing that will provide  strong evidence to support a diagnosis and the emotional impact of the stress of these experiences on your mental state. I will work closely with your attorney to ensure that your written evaluation has the critical information needed to accurately represent your struggles.

If your attorney suggested that you obtain a report from an immigration evaluation therapist, you’ve come to the right professional. My experience in working with individuals and families from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds will help you feel comfortable during this anxiety-provoking experience. 

Psychosocial evaluations for immigration have proved useful in thousands of waivers that could perhaps have been denied had these reports not been included as a piece of additional evidence. 

Here is some information I hope you will find helpful:

Why Do I Need a Psychological Evaluation for Immigration status?
A psychological evaluation adds a tremendous value to the immigration case. A comprehensive, expert evaluation conducted by a licensed psychotherapist knowledgeable about the factors involved in extreme immigration hardships and the relevant mental health issues, along with a thorough report, can be effectively used by your attorney to support your case and move forward with your immigration proceedings.

What Is an Immigration Psychological Evaluation?
An Immigration Psychological Evaluation is an assessment that is used to help immigration courts determine whether an individual will be able to remain lawfully in the United States.


Your evaluation process will be simple. It begins with my consultation with your attorney in order to gather important information about your case. Then your first appointment includes an in-depth interview that ensures that I gather every possible detail that will help ensure success with your case. This can be a 2 to 4-hour initial visit.

During the assessment interview, I will ask you questions about yourself and your immigration case to include specific immigration concerns, your personal, marital, and family history, work history, as well as medical and psychological history as they pertain to the case. 

Because each case is unique, the following types of measures are samples of instruments that may also be used for the assessment.

Once all the necessary information has been collected, I then carefully compile the report, review it with you, then send it to your attorney. The attorney then reviews the report and consults again with me if necessary.

What Type of Immigration Cases Benefit From A Psychological Evaluation?
Psychological Immigration Evaluations and reports are used in four major areas of immigration proceedings:

• Hardship Cases
• Spousal Abuse (VAWA)
• U Visa

In Extreme and Exceptional Hardship cases, a citizen of the United States, or a legal permanent resident (LPR) of the United States and is the spouse, fiancée, parent, or child of an individual who could be deported from the United States. The U.S. citizen applies for a waiver on the basis that deportation would result in an extreme and exceptional hardship.

The purpose of the psychological evaluation is to assess and explain the hardships that all the relevant family members would face if the waiver were not granted. The professional opinion rendered in a psychological evaluation greatly strengthens the case.

2. SPOUSAL ABUSE: VAWA (Violence Against Women Act): 
Despite the name of this act, the VAWA immigration provisions benefit both women and men. In spousal abuse cases, a woman or man from a foreign country marries a citizen or a legal permanent resident (LPR) of the United States. After the marriage, the immigrant claims the presence of domestic abuse and seeks to file for legal status separately from their U.S. citizen spouse, usually because the U.S. citizen or LPR spouse does not assist his or her spouse in this process. The foreign national can file a VAWA petition even if the marriage ended in divorce, as long as there was a connection between the divorce and domestic violence and/or abuse. 

In these cases, it is important for the therapist to evaluate the scope and nature of the abuse and the emotional impact that the abuse has had on you. In the safety of the evaluation process, you can talk about the painful ordeal and its adverse impact on your life and your emotional well-being. This process can also be empowering and aid in the healing process.

U Visa gives legal status to immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, who have been victims of serious crimes in the United States. Such crimes including, but are not limited to, sexual abuse, domestic violence, involuntary servitude, sexual exploitation, kidnapping, trafficking, and rape. With a U Visa, the immigrant may stay and work in the U.S. for up to four years. After three years, however, a victim with a U visa may apply for a green card. 

The goal of the psychological evaluation is to assess the extent of serious physical, mental, or emotional consequences of the experience. An applicant for a U Visa has to be willing to assist the police and/or District Attorney’s Office in the investigation and/or with the prosecution of the criminal.

The advantage of choosing me to help you:

During my 18 years of professional experience in evaluations, treatment, and expert court testimony with diverse cultural populations and languages, I am able to provide a thorough evaluation report can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.  It is essential that the licensed psychotherapist you choose has extensive experience in treating and evaluating Post-Traumatic Stress issues. I have 23 years of experience in trauma intervention treatment and evaluation including Suicide Prevention, Rape Crisis, Domestic Violence, & Sexual Abuse of children.  

Having an opportunity to talk about difficulties and stressors and traumas associated with the immigration process can be an empowering as well as a healing step. Sharing your hardships, pains, and the challenges that you have fought to overcome, allows you to appreciate your strengths as well as identify areas in which you could use more emotional help and support. 


I understand the immigration process including evaluations can be costly. I strive to offer a reasonable rate and can work with you on payments if needed. 

My fees for the entire immigration evaluation service for English and Spanish is:  $900 

(The entire process can take me up 12 hours including your interviews, compilation of the report, and consulting with your attorney.)

For languages other than Spanish and English, there is an additional fee for expert medical translation. 

For court testimony fees, if required, are additional.  

For a free telephone consultation, call me at 512-662-5934

Tu abogada/o te pidió una evaluacion psicológica para tu caso de immigración? Si estás buscando obtener o cambiar tu status legal en los Estados Unidos y necesitas una Evaluación Psicológica llama AHORA. Te podemos ayudar. Una Evaluación Psicológica realizada por una psicoterapeuta experiencia en casos tratamiento traumatologico y con casos de inmigración puede ayudarte significativamente a aumentar las posibilidades de que tu caso sea aprobado por la oficina de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos. Mi objetivo es proporcionar un lugar seguro donde pueda sentirse apoyado, respetado y comprendido.

Se ofrecen evaluaciones psicológicas para los siguientes peticiones ante inmigración: Dificultad Extrema , Perdón, Violencia Doméstica, Víctimas de Crimen. 

Por favor llámeme para una consulta telefónica - 512-662-5934.



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Sarah Cortez




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By Appointment Only


By Appointment Only