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On Demand Audio

Spousal Abuse Petitions in Immigration Cases: Criteria in Psychosocial Evaluations (Update)

(670 reviews)

Produced on November 20, 2015

Taught by
$ 59 Immigration and Public Interest In Stock

Course Information

Time 61 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

There are specific criteria and considerations in psychosocial evaluations for spousal abuse cases, specifically when handling immigration petitions. Here, attorney Mark Silver discusses how such cases are evaluated from a clinical perspective with the consideration for the client's immigration petition. He examines the cycles of abuse and the challenges the victim faces in the context of their marriage to an American citizen, as well as the major types of abuse and characteristics of abusers. 


Mr. Silver also discusses the connection of victims' psychological conditions to immigration cases and opines on who should undertake the clinical evaluations. He also addresses the steps to take in the event of a denial or RFE.


Learning Objectives: 

I.     Understand VAWA 

II.    Recognize the cycles of abuse in VAWA cases

III.   Identify why immigrant women are often targets for abuse and consider major visa issues

IV.   Address the major types of abuses 

V.    Profile an abuser

VI.   Understand the criteria for psychosocial evaluations, what questions to ask an abused client, and where said client can seek help  


Mark Silver

Psychiatric Social Worker

MARK S. SILVER is a lawyer and New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a doctorate in psychology and a post-graduate certificate in family therapy. He is the author of several publications, including Handbook of Mitigation in Criminal and Immigration Forensics: Humanizing the Client Towards a Better Legal Outcome. Sixth Edition. (2017). Since 2002, Mark has worked as a consultant for law firms throughout the United States conducting psychosocial evaluations and writing formal reports in forensic and mitigation immigration and criminal cases. He has worked with thousands of clients from over forty countries on various individual, family, and mental health issues related to criminal conduct and deportation. He has also provided expert testimony in many of these cases in Immigration Court and lectures to lawyers throughout the United States on a wide range of forensic issues with case samples. He can be reached at or 917-608-1346. 


Maria A.

Very well presented. I always enjoy your seminars.

Rebecca B.

Very knowledgeable speaker

Kathryn S.


Janet T.

The topic was not at all within my area of practice, but the information given was well presented and valuable to life experiences.

Arianne U.

Mark Silver is so impressive. The more i get to see him in action, the more impressed i am!

Michele B.

even thought of things I would not normally, thank you

Bette B.

excellent info & presentation. all attorneys should have this book...

Theodore Z.

Interesting and informative

Amy E.

Very interesting

Khwaja A.

Mark Silver was very professional and his presentation of the topic Spousal abuse was highly relevant in the context of permanent Immigration for spouses who require help and support

Myrna A.

very helpful!

Sara L.

Very good lecture

Joseph Z.

Silver is outstanding!

Jeanette taylor J.

Very informative

Mike H.

not in an area I use but lots of great information

Amarante C.

The seminar was effective, well organized with written materials but was a tad boring.

Wayne A c.

Excellent presentation.

melvin f.

Good slides, good presenter,

William C.

Good for Family lawyers also.

Diane L.


Mary F.

Very well done.

Terry S.

Not an immigration attorney, but learned a lot about spousal abuse.

Holly R.

Well presented on a difficult topic. Good content for practitioners. Thank you!

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