When to File Form N-648

If you need an exception to the English and Civics test because of “physical or developmental disability or mental impairment”, you are required to file Form N-648. Other Naturalization applicants who are capable of learning or demonstrating the required knowledge and understanding of basic English and civics cannot and are not eligible to claim an exception from the citizenship test.

If you qualify for an exception, you should submit Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions and send it along with your completed Naturalization application, Form N-400. It is important to remember that you can submit this form only for medical condition(s) that are long-term (lasting 12 months or longer) and it affects you so severely that you cannot fulfill the English or civics requirements. It is up to the USCIS to review the submitted Form N-648 and decide if you qualify for an exception from the test requirements.

All sections of Form N-648 (except for the “Applicant Attestation”) should be completed by a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or clinical psychologist (a “medical professional”). The doctor should have professional expertise in diagnosing and evaluating you for a physical or developmental disability or impairment that makes you not able to take the English or civics test. An employee who is under the direct supervision of the certifying medical professional can also fill in the form with details directly provided or verified by the certifying medical professional. Even if the employee fills the form, the certifying medical professional who signs the form is totally responsible for the genuineness of the details given in the form.

The medical professional who signs this form must have sufficient training and experience in the field of your claimed disability or impairment. He/she should be the one who has been regularly treating you for the claimed disability or impairment. If the medical professional is not your regular treating physician, the reason for the substituting has to be detailed in the application, as well as information regarding the future plan of your treatment. The professional is required to provide an accurate and simple assessment of your disability or impairment so that USCIS can determine whether you qualify for an exception from the tests.

Make sure your application is complete as the USCIS may consider Form N-648 as insufficient if sufficient information is not given in the form. There are exceptional instances that do not make it possible for the completed Form N-648 to be included with Form N-400 when it is filed. Under such instances, the completed Form N-648 can be submitted to USCIS at the time of your interview. Remember that though USCIS accepts delayed submissions, such claims may delay the entire Naturalization application process.

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