After applicant files the Form N-400 for US citizenship due to any mental or physical impairment he/she can file for an exception fromcitizenship tests in the process of becoming a US citizen. If the form is found sufficient the process of naturalization would be completed normally and applicant is issued citizen certificate. Sometimes the medical exception Form N-648 filed would be found insufficient by the USCIS officer. If the form has not been completed properly, no proper explanation is given about applicant’s medical condition because of which he/she is not able to meet the civics, English or both requirements the officer decided the request for exception is insufficient. Also if there is discrepancy between names of the naturalization applicant and the name on form filled by the medical professional requesting for exception the officer decided Form N-648 is insufficient for granting exception.
Decision on exception request at different levels
Initial interview level
If the applicant who is not qualified for exception has passed the same English and Civics Tests the officer will check if the applicant meets with the rest of the eligibility requirements and proceed with the naturalization examination. Just for the only reason that the applicant after submitting the disability exception form has passed the same English and civics tests the officer should not determine that the applicant has no good moral character (GMC) or was engaged in any kind of fraud. With regards to the applicant’s relationship with the medical profession who filled the exception form and about the reason for filing it questions will be asked by officer to the applicant though.
If the applicant doesn’t qualify for the disability exception and also fails the citizenship tests, regarding the issues with the exception form for medical disability a request for evidence must be issued by the USCIS officer. A second chance should be given to applicant to meet English and civics requirements within 60 to 90 days of the initial examination by rescheduling a re-examination by the USCIS office.
A request for evidence (REF) mentioning the deficiencies of the form must have been issued by the officer if an applicant’s disability exception form was found to be insufficient at the initial examination by an officer. The evidence which is submitted in response to the REF issued at the initial examination must be reviewed by the officer conducting the re-examination. If during the re-examination the applicant is submitting disability exception form for the first time the officer administering reexamination should review it and determine if its sufficient or not. If form is found sufficient the applicant should be exempted from educational requirements and using an interpreter the officer should proceed with the naturalization examination.
The officer should give another opportunity to the applicant to take the English and civics tests if the form is found to be insufficient by the officer. If in response to the REF the evidence submitted is found insufficient the officer should proceed with the reexamination in English and not consider the disability exception form submitted. Second opportunity to take any portion of the English and civics tests that applicant previously failed must be provided by the officer. No third opportunity to neither take the tests nor file exception form.
Based on the applicant’s failure to meet the educational requirements for naturalization and if he/she fails any portion of the test or declines to answer the test question during reexamination the officer must deny the naturalization application. Reasons for finding the medical exception form insufficient must be provided in detail in the denial notice by the officer.
Hearing on denial stage
Including a review on the disability exception forms submitted an officer may conduct during the hearing on the naturalization denial a full hearing from scratch on a denied naturalization application. Additional documents can be submitted for review at the hearing including a new disability exception form by an applicant at the hearing. So again Form N-648 is checked for sufficiency and if found insufficient retest on any portion of the test failed previously by the applicant should be done by officer.
Case of inconsistency and falsification
Questions about whether even the certifying medical profession examined the applicant may arise in some cases. If certifying medical profession did not examine the applicant of the form or if the naturalization applicant is different from the applicant on exception form the officer according to inconsistency and falsification found by the officer the disability exception form should be found insufficient. Such fraud cases should be referred to Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) by the officer after consultation with the supervisor. Such fraud findings should be explained in the denial notice by the officer.