Applying for US citizenship is quite a daunting process. In addition to the legal challenges, the applicants are supposed to get their psychological evaluation—a report that shows that they are mentally fit to live in the US.
It’s a detailed report that the authorities use to figure out if you tick all boxes of “good mental health.” Then, your application is approved or declined based on the findings. It starts with an interview with a certified and licensed psychiatrist. You might also need to take written tests.
If you are worried about the interview and evaluation process, this post is for you. Let’s discover the purpose of a psychological evaluation for an immigration case, who needs it, and how it’s conducted.
What Is Psychological Evaluation For Immigration?
The immigration psychological evaluation is fairly simple, but the reports may take between 4 and 8 business days (depending on who’s preparing it). Aspiring immigrants need to submit the immigration psychological evaluation reports to the authorities when applying for US citizenship.
The government requires you to schedule an interview with a psychologist who assesses your mental condition. They ask questions about your past traumas, work life, the reasons you are moving into a new country, and so on. This helps them assess your mental health condition, which shows whether you are capable of adapting to the new culture in a foreign nation.
Mental health disorders pose a threat to not only the immigrant but the country they are moving into. This evaluation test is conducted to ensure that the applicant is mentally fit and will cause no harm to the nation or its people due to their mental instability.
During the interview, the psychologist will check your background, qualifications, and experience and test your knowledge about your destination country. Gauging your mental stability is one of the most crucial steps in granting citizenship to any foreign country. It tells the authorities that you are physically and mentally fit to start a life in a new environment.
How Is Immigration Psychological Conducted?
As mentioned earlier, a psychological evaluation is part of the eligibility criteria for citizenship in another nation. The authorities need this information to judge the applicant’s mental health and overall suitability to live in a foreign country. The nature of questions asked in the interview might vary from one psychologist to another, but most of them focus on personal situations, family background, and past experiences.
The interview doesn’t just evaluate your current mental health but also helps the psychologist assess your ability to deal with stressful situations in the host nation. Most importantly, psychological evaluation gives you legal evidence (in writing) that you are mentally fit and stable to be granted US citizenship.
The cost of these psychological tests depends on who you approach for the interview and reports. These are usually a bit expensive. It can range from $500 to $3000 and more if you work with a certified and experienced psychiatrist that provides a detailed assessment report.
Note: You can’t skip a mental health test, as it’s a mandatory part of your application for US citizenship.
What Should You Expect From The Evaluation?
By now, you might have already got an idea of what a psychological evaluation is and what it entails. The psychologist will conduct one or multiple tests to examine your mental stability.
You are asked questions about any stressors, your work life, marital status, relationships, past trauma that remained unresolved, treatments (both physical and mental), and any mental health symptoms you are currently experiencing.
You need to submit the questionnaire form either in-person or virtually. The interview might last for an hour or longer. Once it’s over, the psychologist will start working on the evaluation report, in which they will report their findings.
They will submit this report to you or your immigration lawyer. If the psychologist diagnoses any mental health disorder that might be relevant to the immigration case or affect your life in the foreign country, they will specify it in the findings.
For a successful psychological evaluation session, be honest with your answers and fill out the questionnaire form correctly. Knowing your psychologist before appearing for an interview will help you prepare for the interview in advance. If you have any doubts, feel free to reach out to your immigration lawyer.
Choosing The Right Psychologist For Immigration Evaluation Reports
Your psychological evaluation reports matter a lot to the authorities. There’s a chance your citizenship application can be rejected if you are diagnosed with mental instability or a condition that puts the nation or you in danger. So, it’s important that you choose the psychologist carefully. Check their credentials and conduct a pre-interview meeting to see if you are comfortable working with them.
While checking the credentials, see if they have the license to practice in your state. Check their certifications, qualifications, experience in this industry, and other factors before hiring. Remember, immigration evaluation is different from a standard psychology test. The psychologist should assess your mental health and check if you can live in a new place.
Some clinicians specialize in specific medical fields, like children’s mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. If you are diagnosed with any of these medical conditions or have a history of these, find a psychologist with a specialization in these mental diseases.
Depending on the length of the report and the psychologist’s experience, the cost can be up to $1500 or above. Discuss it with the psychiatrist beforehand and compare the prices to find a cost-effective and experienced professional.
Psychological evaluation for an immigration case may sound pretty intimidating. Chances are you have never taken a psychological interview before, and it’s the first time you will meet a licensed practitioner.
There’s not much preparation needed. If you have any doubts, your psychiatrist and the immigration attorney will help. Make sure you discuss your requirements, fees, number of interview sessions, and the total time they will take to generate reports.