Persecution and Asylum | For Attorneys

How PHR can Help Your Client

More than 1,200 health professionals in PHR’s Asylum Network offer pro bono psychological and physical evaluations to document evidence of torture and other abuse for people fleeing persecution in their home countries. In order to request an evaluation, please fill out the forensic evaluation request form and submit it at least eight weeks before the affidavit is required.

Prior to the evaluation of your client, you’ll need to provide the health professional with a copy of your client’s affidavit, prior medical records, and any other relevant information.

If the evaluator determines that the physical or psychological evidence is consistent with your client’s account of torture or persecution, he or she will prepare an affidavit to submit to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It is important to maintain close contact with the health professional to make sure that any issues or questions are addressed in a timely fashion.

Once the case is completed, please inform both the health professional and PHR of the case outcome so we can continue to evaluate the program, update funders regarding the value of their contributions, and make adjustments as needed. Please do not hesitate to call 646.564.3720 or email asylum@phr.org with any questions or concerns.

PHR Process for Matching Clinicians with Asylum Cases

1. Asylum Seeker Case: An asylum seeker opens an application for asylum and begins working with an attorney.

2. Evaluation Needed: The asylum seeker’s attorney identifies a need for a forensic evaluation to document physical and psychological injuries.

3. Attorney Contacts PHR: The asylum seeker’s attorney submits a forensic evaluation request to PHR. The request is screened.

4. Volunteer Outreach: PHR contacts its network of volunteer evaluators in asylum seeker’s area. Available volunteers reply.

5. Case Placed: PHR initiates contact, but the asylum attorney is responsible for scheduling an evaluation time with the volunteer evaluator.

6. Evaluation Occurs The evaluation occurs at a location convenient for the volunteer evaluator: the volunteer’s office or – if the client is detained – at the detention center.

7. Affidavit Used in Trial: The volunteer evaluator records the evidence gathered in the form of an affidavit for use during the asylum trial. Oral testimony is sometimes requested.

8. Asylum Case Outcome: The attorney submits an outcome report to PHR, to help PHR evaluate the impact of the asylum network.

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