USCIS helps special US citizenship applicants!


USCIS provides many types of accommodations to disabled applicants who file for US citizenship Normally the accommodation relates to the naturalization interview, naturalization test or the Oath of allegiance. Important to remember that all applicants, normal or with type of disabilities, should meet all requirements that decide their eligibility for naturalization. Including any pre- examination procedures to any aspect of the naturalization process each accommodation may apply as required. Some applicants may need one while others as recognized by USCIS may require more than one accommodation.

Online information to get to know the citizenship status is also available with USCIS. For applicants with disabilities the field offices are able to provide accommodations during the naturalization examination.

1.      Additional examination time and breaks

For applicants with disabilities who have requested for this accommodation type an USCIS officer may provide additional time for the examination and allow breaks if necessary since USCIS is aware that more than the regularly scheduled time some applicants require more time.

2.      Accommodations applicants with hearing problems

As per the applicant’s request the field office should provide applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing an English sign language interpreter in case the applicant doesn’t choose to bring one on her/his own. Any communication aids which are available for the deaf or the hard of hearing applicants should be used by the officer and if required in writing applicant should be allowed to answer officer’s questions.

3.      Assistance during examination and form signing by relatives

With the applicant to attend the examination officers may allow a family member or legal guardian in cases where an applicant is disabled. During the examination this may help the applicant to remain calm and approachable. The officer may remove the person at any time from the examination if his/her presence is causing some trouble to the examination. If applicant is not able to proceed at that time the officer reschedules examination. If applicant is unable to sign on the naturalization application or any document applicant can make a mark. For attesting on a naturalization application a family member can assist applicant to sign, make a mark or initial. No one except for the applicant should sign the naturalization application.

4.      Presence of designated representative or legal Guardian during examinations 

In person all applicants need to appear currently and statement should be given as to their naturalization eligibility under oath. Due to any physical, mental or developmental disabilities when an applicant is unable to undergo an examination a legal guardian, substitute, or an eligible nominated representative completes the naturalization process for the applicant. Accommodation like off-site examination along with oath waiver is provided additionally if required.

Order of priority by which USCIS will recognize one designated representative is first preference for Legal guardian or substitute (highest priority), then the spouse who is US citizen, next parent who is US citizen, next adult son or daughter who is US citizen and lastly adult brother or sister who is US citizen with the least priority provided they have documents in support as proof like Administration documents, affidavits or evidence of U.S. citizenship.

5.      Nonverbal Communication is allowed

During the naturalization examination blinking, shaking or nodding of head, tapping, or other effective forms of nonverbal communication may be accepted by an officer as nonverbal communication. The applicant must also be allowed to point to answers on the application and also be allowed to write down answers to civics test questions if applicant cannot verbally say it. The form of communication should be agreed upon prior to the start of the naturalization examination by the officer, the applicant, and also the applicant’s representative if required.

6.      Examination done off-site

At the applicant’s residence, nursing home, any hospital or a center for senior citizens whichever is appropriate an officer may conduct a naturalization examination. When it’s inappropriate for an applicant to appear in person at a field office because of medical illness or disability this applies.

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