Can I Get an Exception To The Citizenship Test

Naturalization applicants who want to claim an exception to the English and civics testing requirements “due to physical or developmental disability or mental impairment” should file Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions with the USCIS. But applicants capable of learning or demonstrating the required knowledge and understanding of basic English and civics will not qualify for a waiver to the tests.

If you are seeking an exception, you should file Form N-648 along with your completed Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. To be eligible for a waiver to the test, your medical condition(s)should be long-term (lasting 12 months or longer) and it is so severely affecting you that you cannot take the English or civics tests. After reviewing your completed Form N-648, the USCIS will finally pass the decision whether you are eligible for an exception to the tests or not.

In the N-648 application, all sections of the form other than the “Applicant Attestation” should be completed by a currently licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or clinical psychologist (a “medical professional”). It is important that the doctor has professional expertise, that he can diagnose and evaluate you for a physical or developmental disability or impairment that is stopping you from satisfying the English or civics requirements. Apart from the medical professional, an employee who is under the direct supervision of the certifying medical professional can also prepare the form with information verified by the certifying medical professional. Whoever prepares, it is ultimately the medical professional who signs the form who has to take full responsibility for the genuineness of the information given in the form.

It is mandatory for the medical professional signing the form to have sufficient training and experience in the field of the disability or impairments that you, the applicant claim to have. The professional generally, has to be the “the treating physician”, which means that he/she has been regularly treating you for the disability or impairment that you claim to have. If he/she is not your regular treating physician, the reason for the substitution should be clearly explained in the application. In addition, information regarding the future plan of your treatment should also be detailed. The professional should be able to provide an accurate assessment of your disability or impairment in such a way that the USCIS officers can easily understand and decide if you qualify for an exception from the English and civics requirements or not.

There are certain instances where it is not necessary to file the completed Form N-648 along with Form N-400. In such situations, you can file the completed N-648 to the USCIS at the time of your interview. Though USCIS do accept delayed submissions, such claims will unnecessarily lengthen the naturalization process.

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