U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a revised Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, for individuals with disabilities who are seeking exceptions from the English and civics requirements for naturalization. USCIS will shortly be offering public information sessions on the revised form for medical professionals and other stakeholders.
The law requires naturalization applicants to demonstrate proficiency of U.S. civics and the English language. Individuals with certain disabilities or impairments may request exceptions from either or both of these statutory requirements. Form N-648 was revised following extensive dialogue among USCIS subject-matter experts, customers, medical professionals, community-based organizations and legal practitioners. The revisions are intended to clarify the requirements and instructions and to standardize the process. The form enables medical professionals to provide information that is necessary for USCIS to understand the medical professional’s diagnosis and its relationship to the naturalization requirements. The Form N-648 and the accompanying guidance will assist USCIS adjudicators as they review each form.
In January, USCIS will begin hosting public information sessions to help medical professionals and other stakeholders understand the changes to Form N-648. Online videos will be available to explain how best to use the form. The interim guidance on the revised Form N-648 for USCIS personnel is currently available for public comment at http://www.uscis.gov/outreach.
USCIS will accept the previous version of the Form N-648 for 90 days, from Dec. 22, 2010, until March 21, 2011. Beginning March 22, 2011, USCIS will only accept the current version of Form N-648, dated 9/24/2010.