Juan Santos on Offering Immigration Evaluations in Private Practice | FP 38

Juan Santos on Offering Immigration Evaluations in Private Practice | FP 38

What does an immigration evaluation entail? How can immigration evaluations become something that you can offer in your private practice? Who should you build relationships with in order to get more immigration evaluation business?

In this podcast episode, Whitney speaks to Juan Santos about offering immigration evaluations in private practice.

Meet Juan Santos

Juan SantosJuan is a husband, father of 2, clinician, and consultant. He and his wife operate a group practice in North Carolina, called Santos Counseling PLLC. Juan helps counselors cultivate success as they journey in the field of private practice.

Visit his group counseling website and consulting practice website and listen to the podcast here. Connect on YouTube.

Click here to get $100 off the Mastering Immigration Evaluations Training Course: use the code ‘Whitney’

In This Podcast


  • Immigration evaluations in private practice
  • Training in immigration evaluations
  • The evaluations
  • How to market yourself to people needing evaluations
  • Juan’s courses

Immigration evaluations in private practice

Juan also teaches clinicians how to niche this specialty in their private practices. Can clinicians write immigration evaluations? Yes, and you can be awesome at it because you have the skills and knowledge to do it, and you have the training in your degree that allows you to understand multicultural issues, ethics, the intake process, etc.

All you need is a little bit of a specific eye to figure out how to write these evaluations and how to work with the clients. The client you’ll be working with is called the applicant as they’re usually applying for some sort of visa. They are usually going from undocumented to documented status. As undocumented, these clients are not able to drive legally, not able to work legally, and have no social security number. Juan gives clinicians the training, support, and guidance for exactly what you need to do. It starts with an evaluation (similar to a comprehensive clinical assessment) where you try to figure out how they’re affected through the process. The process differs for different types of visas.

Training in immigration evaluations

Juan recommends getting training to do these evaluations although there is no gold standard in terms of qualifications. Juan has put his skills and knowledge into courses/consultations and has trained hundreds of other clinicians in immigration evaluation. When a clinician is wanting to engage in this process, they can reach out to Juan, or somebody else in the field and get that training and utilize that skill knowledge.

The evaluations

These evaluations do take longer than the standard individual psychotherapy session. Juan recommends two to four 2-hour sessions and then the writing process. For these evaluations, you can charge between $500 and $1500 which is often not covered by insurance so you can have a cash-based practice solely off of writing these evaluations. Clients usually have to pay these amounts out of pocket so Juan and his wife have set up a pro bono pocket to assist with these fees as often as they can.

How to market yourself to people needing evaluations

Marketing is about building relationships and because immigration evaluations are in the legal field, you are going to want to build relationships with attorneys who will be one of your top referring agents. It might be pretty tough to get to someone in that position at first so you need to go down the chain and start with the office coordinator, customer service staff, or person who sits at the front desk.

For immigration offices, that would be the paralegal, secretary, or translators. You can’t just call and introduce yourself, you need to have some sort of presentation. Put together a template using a made-up client where you present exactly what you would write and how your evaluation would look. Include a business card and price sheet, and give them a step-by-step referral process. Try doing this using three different avenues – face to face, electronic communication like email or telephone, and then a week or two later reach out again. You need to tap into your entrepreneurial side, believe in yourself, and build that self-confidence. If they didn’t respond the first time what do you need to do to get them to respond the second time?

Juan’s courses

Juan offers his course in three different facets:

  1. Master Course – Everything you need to know about adding these evaluations to your practice from start to finish, including marketing and the writing process.
  2. Marketing Course – You’ve already added this service to your practice but the numbers aren’t there.
  3. Writing Course – Marketing is going well, you know how to do the work but your writing isn’t at the point you want it. Takes a deep dive into writing powerful and effective immigration evaluations.

Click here to get $100 off the Mastering Immigration Evaluations Training Course: use the code ‘Whitney’

Useful Links:

Meet Whitney Owens

Whitney Ownens | Build a faith-based practiceWhitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.

Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.

Thanks For Listening!

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Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

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