Does my Psychological Evaluation Expire?

Hi, welcome to my blog dedicated to psychological assessments for immigration cases.

One of the most common questions I get asked by my clients who have completed a psychological assessment is: does my psychological evaluation expire? And my answer is yes and no. I know this is not exactly what you wanted to hear but let me explain.

When your attorney(s) recommended that you complete a psychological assessment for your immigration case, the evaluation is usually requested during different periods of the case. If your immigration case is significantly delayed for whatever reason and you already completed the assessment, the assessment may have a date a few months or even a whole year before you are submitting your petition to the immigration department. 

The date of the assessment for your immigration case will have the dates the evaluation sessions were completed as well as when the writing of the report took place. Just because the date on the psychological report is 6-12 months (or longer) before your attorney uses it, it does not mean it is expired. It is up to you and your attorney whether the psychological evaluation will be used for your case or if you need an updated assessment. Your attorney can still use the assessment that was completed 6-12 months ago as a document that explains what your mental health state and diagnosis was 6-12 months ago. So even if your attorney requests an updated evaluation, the psychological evaluation can still serve as an archive for your mental health history and mental health status associated with your case.

Think about the psychological assessment for your petition for a U visa, VAWA, family immigration (hardship evaluation), cancelation of removal, or asylum cases the same way as when (for example) you visit your doctor for blood work. The result of the blood work will give you information about your health at that point in time. If you complete the blood work a year later, your results can be the same, but if you have made lifestyle changes, the results can also be very different. 

To summarize, a psychological assessment is a snapshot of your mental health when it was conducted, so if you have made changes to your life, it may be a good idea to get the assessment updated. First, consult with your attorney, and based on your situation, you can best determine if you need an updated evaluation, a new evaluation, or your attorney will use the same assessment you already have.