U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on October 19, 2022, that it has updated its policy guidance to clarify and conform with the revision of Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions.

Naturalization applicants with a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment that precludes them from fulfilling the English and civics testing requirements for naturalization may file Form N-648 to request an exception to those requirements. The form must be completed and certified by a medical professional. 

Based on public comments, USCIS said, the revisions to Form N-648 eliminate questions and language that no longer have practical utility or were redundant. Most notable changes include elimination of questions about how each relevant disability affects specific functions of the applicant’s daily life, including the ability to work or go to school. The revisions also eliminate dates of diagnosis, description of severity of each disability, and whether the certifying medical professional has a pre-existing relationship with the applicant. Further, USCIS said, the revisions allow the medical professional the option to indicate an applicant’s need for an oath waiver, thereby eliminating the need for separate medical documentation. The updated policy also provides guidance for telehealth medical examinations and allows USCIS to accept an applicant’s Form N-648 after the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, is filed. 

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