New Naturalization Disability Waiver Is More Accessible

Mario A. Godoy
New Naturalization Disability Waiver Is More Accessible

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has shortened and simplified the naturalization disability waiver. This is the waiver that exempts immigrants with physical, mental or learning disabilities from the naturalization English and civics test requirements. The naturalization process includes testing on how well immigrants read, write and understand English and how well they understand U.S. history and government. On October 19, 2022, USCIS announced updated policy guidance on the naturalization disability waiver, which has been in effect since 1994.

Naturalization Disability Waiver

Naturalization applicants with a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment that prevents them from fulfilling the English and civics testing requirements for naturalization can have a medical professional complete and certify Form N-648 Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions to request an exception to those requirements. The updated naturalization disability waiver application:

  • has been shortened
  • has been simplified
  • has new telehealth guidelines further remove barriers for applicants and medical professionals.

USCIS Director Ur Jaddo said the revisions were part of President Biden’s executive order to restore faith in the U.S. immigration system:

This is a wonderful example of how USCIS is listening to the public it serves in order to better address their needs, while fulfilling our responsibilities as an agency. The changes made to Form N-648 are yet another way in which USCIS is removing barriers to naturalization, in accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order 14012 and EO 13985.”

According to the updated naturalization disability waiver announcement, the revised guidelines

  • eliminate questions about how each relevant disability affects specific functions of the applicant’s daily life. This can include the ability to work or go to school
  • eliminate dates of diagnosis and description of the severity of each disability. And whether the certifying medical professional has a pre-existing relationship with the applicant
  • allows the medical professional the option to indicate an applicant’s need for an oath waiver and eliminates the need for separate medical documentation
  • provides guidance for telehealth medical examinations
  • allows USCIS to accept applicants’ Form N-648 after they file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

Is Your American Dream To Become a Naturalized U.S. Citizen?

Don’t be intimidated by paperwork, requirements and deadlines! Godoy Law Office can help you complete your citizenship and naturalization application and guide your way to the American Dream. We can determine if you meet the citizenship requirements and complete all the forms. Plus, we can submit required documents and ensure there are no missed deadlines or documentation.

Contact our experienced immigration lawyers to schedule an appointment at 630-912-0322.

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