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to NOLA Immigration Evaluators

We are Licensed Clinical Social Workers with over 25 years of clinical experience, who provide thorough and professional clinical immigration evaluations needed for a range of immigration cases, including Extreme Hardship Waivers, Domestic Violence (VAWA) cases and Asylum cases.   

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NOLA Immigration Evaluators


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Dr. Holly McKenney, DSW, LCSW-BACS      

Michelle Swanford, MSW, LCSW, MHM                 504.913.6678

New Orleans - Metairie - Virtual across LA

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Secretary of Homeland Security can grant discretionary waivers for those who are in the US without permission, but are able to demonstrate that a denial of admission would result in “extreme hardship” to a specified U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) family members. These specified family members are known as “qualifying relatives” and therefore the focus of the application


Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides noncitizens who have been abused by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relative the ability to independently petition for themselves (self-petition) for immigrant classification without the abuser’s knowledge, consent, or participation in the immigration process. Spouses and children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and parents of U.S. adult citizens may apply


Per the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), asylum in the US can be granted if the applicant has been persecuted or has a fear of  persecution  related to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion if returned to their country of origin.  Fear of torture is also a qualifying condition.  Both types of fear must be deemed "credible" in nature through an official review process.

Why do I need an Evaluation from a Clinical therapist for my Immigration Case?

Not all scars are visible...

 If you are applying for a waiver for Extreme Hardship, VAWA or Asylum, you may not have physical scars from what you've been through, but you likely have emotional scarring. While physical scars can often be seen from the naked eye, emotional scarring requires a behavioral health professional, such as a clinical therapist, to evaluate and document.  It is this clinical documentation that helps to substantiate your your story and becomes a critical piece of documentation for your case.

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What You Can Expect...


  1. Approximately Two 90-minute Interview Appointments with the person being evaluated scheduled within a few weeks of one another.

  2. Follow-Up Telephone Communication regarding any missing information from the interview. 

  3. Ongoing communication* with the attorney/paralegal on the case.

  4. A written draft of the evaluation will be created and reviewed.

  5. Final evaluation will be mailed to the attorney/paralegal and another copy will be sent to the client.

Immigration Evaluation Fee: $1100

Turnaround time can be 4-5 weeks

Rush service dependent upon availability
Rush fees can vary between $250-$500, depending upon timeframe


Consents needed and will be executed to communicate with attorney/paralegal


Dr. Holly McKenney, DSW LCSW-BACS

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker

  • Associate Professor of Social Work at Southern University, HBCU in New Orleans

  • Private Practice  in New Orleans, LA

  • Board Certified Social Work Supervisor for Graduate Students of Social Work


  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker

  • Private Practice in Metairie, LA

  • Adjunct Professor of Social Work Research at Southern University, an HBCU in New Orleans

  • Certified Integrated Practitioner


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Michelle Swanford, MSW, LCSW, MHM

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