Authorized to file for disability exception for a US citizenship applicant?

doctor primary-health-care


In order to certify a disability exception form only licensed medical professionals are authorized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which includes medical doctors, osteopathy doctors and clinical psychologists. This exception form helps disabled applicants of US citizenship who are unable to meet the educational requirements. Applicants applying for American citizenship online also are eligible. In any state of the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands these medical professionals should be licensed to practice.

What authorized medical professional does?

Following are the things a medical professional must do:

  • An in-person examination of the applicant must be conducted
  • On Form N-648 should properly explain the nature and extent of the medical condition
  • Applicant’s inability to comply with the English and civics requirements should be explained and also how it relates to his/her medical condition  
  • To show or prove that the medical condition has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months attestation is required and 
  • Also to prove that illegal use of drugs is not reason for the cause of the medical condition attestation is required.

Using common terminology which a layman or a person who has no medical training can understand the medical professional must complete the disability exception form. Verification of the accuracy of the form’s content is the responsibility of the medical professional alone though a staff associated with the medical professional may assist in form completion. The supporting documents like the medical diagnostic reports and records must be attached to the form by the medical professional who certifies it. Written responses to each of the questions or item on the form must not be replaced by the attachments.

Points to remember by the officer

1. Review guidelines

To determine if the applicant is eligible for the exception an officer should review the disability exception form and decide if the applicant’s eligibility for the exception is sufficiently established by the form or not.

2. Completeness of Form to be checked

The disability form which is submitted must be checked for completeness by the officer and to make sure that all the required questions are answered by the medical professional and that along with the applicant he/she has certified the form. The officer should administer the English examination if all questions have not been answered or applicant or medical profession has not signed the form.

3. Medical Examination and Nexus

Focus should be on specific details provided by the medical professional if there is a nexus or casual connection between the applicant’s disability or impairment and his/her inability to express educational requirements for naturalization for the officer.

4. Interpreter Certification missing

On the disability exception form if the interpreter certification is not there the officer should confirm with the applicant if interpreter was used by medical professional during medical examination. Either the medical professional himself could have used native language during examination without or with interpreter.

5. Supplemental Disability Determination request

Supplementary disability determination should not be requested by officer generally and based on merits of original form evaluation should be done. In case from another medical professional supplementary disability determination form is requested the officer should explain reasons for doubting the authenticity of the information on the original form and also officer should consult and receive approval from his/her supervisor before requesting supplementary report. Also to facilitate the applicant’s ability to find another medical professional the relevant state medical board contact information should be provided to the applicant by the officer.

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