Revised Form N-648 to Help Naturalization Applicants with Disabilities09 Nov 2022
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced an updated policy regarding medical certification for disability exceptions (form N-648) to make the naturalization process more accessible for applicants with disabilities. The USCIS policy manual clarifies the manner in which medical professionals can properly complete the new, simplified version of form N-648, and request oath waivers based on a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment.
As part of the process for naturalizing to U.S. citizenship, the applicant typically is required to pass a two-part test to prove English language proficiency and knowledge of U.S. civics. However, it is possible to be exempted from both the English and civics tests based on a qualifying physical or developmental disability, or a mental impairment. To receive an exemption, the individual must have a licensed medical professional complete and certify form N-648, and then file the form with the USCIS.
Revisions to Form N-648
Based on feedback from the public, the following revisions have been made to the N-648 form to help ease the filing process for applicants and medical providers:
- USCIS is now authorized to accept an applicant’s form N-648 after the application for naturalization (form N-400) has already been filed
- Elimination of redundant or irreverent questions
- Elimination of dates of diagnosis and description of the severity of the disability
- Elimination of the medical professional’s prior relationship with applicant
- Updated guidance for telehealth medical examinations
- Option to include an oath waiver request
The revisions to form N-648 should help reduce barriers for lawful permanent residents with disabilities who wish to become U.S. citizens. We trust that the USCIS will continue to work towards improving all facets of the U.S. immigration system.
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