Immigration Lawyer Chicago/ Immigration Forms: Where Do I Get Immigration Forms?/ Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions
Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen is not always easy. The laws can be strict and the language can be confusing. Sometimes, the applicant may also have a disability or condition that makes it harder for them to meet eligibility requirements.
For those who need a medical exemption from certain parts of the naturalization process, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers the N-648 certification.
USCIS Form N-648, also often called a “disability waiver,” is used to exempt U.S. citizenship applicants from having to prove certain skills. Those with a diagnosed medical condition that prevents them from being able to read, write, speak, or take basic tests may file this petition.
N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, makes legal entrance to the U.S. more accessible. Depending on the medical condition an individual has, they may be able to do the naturalization interview in their native language, or not have to answer history and government questions.
This form must be completed by a certifying medical professional within six months of the N-400 form being submitted to USCIS.
The first section is all about the applicant (patient) and their personal information. This includes things like name, living situation, A-Number, social security number (SSN), and contact information. This is not for the interpreter or the person who may be filling out the form on the applicant’s behalf.
The next piece is reserved for details about the medical professional that provided the diagnosis. Their name, address, license and contact information, and practice type will be sufficient.
Part 3 is where the important details go. This portion of the application has 23 separate items that need to be addressed. Below are the individual lines and what they require.
This section is reserved for the information about the person who is going to interpret for the applicant and/or medical professional. This may be the person filling out the form or it may be a third-party interpreter. Necessary details include name, contact information, and certification that the interpreter can perform what is required of them.
In Part 5, the applicant is required to give the doctor permission to share medical info with USCIS. This portion really only requires a signature from the applicant or their authorized representative.
Part 6 is where the medical professional must provide proof that the applicant has some form of photo ID and they are who they say they are.
Not everybody is eligible to file an N-648 form. There are three basic requirements that must be met in order for an individual to qualify:
Medical conditions that may coincide with these requirements include the following:
Eligible conditions must be both disabling and medically determinable. This means they must render the person fully unable to learn English or U.S. history and be objectively confirmable by a professional.
Just because you have a disability, it does not necessarily mean that you should submit an N-648 application. If you are still able to complete the English and civics requirements with the proper accommodations, you should do so.
Simply being illiterate or very old will also not be enough to qualify you. You can request reasonable accommodations on the Form N-400 without filing the N-648 petition.
There is no filing fee for Form N-648. However, you will need to pay for all the different aspects of your naturalization application.
Form N-648 should be completed and submitted along with Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. A USCIS officer will determine whether or not to accept your disability waiver at the beginning of your naturalization interview.
If the form is accepted, the interview will continue in the language of your choice with an interpreter; your civics and English requirements will be waived, if applicable; and USCIS will continue to determine whether or not you meet the rest of the naturalization requirements.
The time between submitting your application and your interview depends on the USCIS caseload and whether or not you supply sufficient evidence. If you do not include necessary information, you may experience holdups in the approval process as USCIS requests additional proof.
If your N-648 waiver is denied at the beginning of the interview, USCIS will simply proceed as if you had not tried to submit it. This means you will still be required to take all portions of the English and civics tests. Before naturalization can be decided, you will need to pass the English and civics requirements twice, once at the interview and again at the re-examination.
If you decline to complete the requirements or fail to pass, USCIS will likely deny your naturalization application unless there is a good cause not to. If you have any ability to prepare for the requirements, you should do so and not risk a disability waiver denial. Fill out the proper requests on your N-400 instead to get proper accommodations.
Our Chicago immigration law firm is here to help you. Do not let disabilities stop you from coming to the U.S. If you are unable to learn English and/or civics due to a mental or physical condition, contact our team for assistance with Form N-648.
The naturalization lawyers at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. will walk you through the application process to give you the best possible chance of success.