Some clients have disabilities that keep them from being able to take the English proficiency and civics portion of the naturalization exam. (Application N-400). The N-648 is the appropriate waiver to file in this case.

What is the N-648?

A Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, or Form N-648, exempts certain applicants for U.S. citizenship from possibly proving they can read, write, and speak basic English, and/or passing a test of U.S. history and civics. The waiver is available for applicants with a diagnosed medical condition, which will prevent the person from meeting the English and/or civics requirements. With a sufficient waiver, the applicant may have the interview in his/her native language and/or not have to answer questions about U.S. history and government, depending on the specific facts of their medical condition.

Doctor’s Are Busy, Don’t Let them Rush the N-648 Form.

One of the most common (and understandable issues) is that doctors rush hurriedly through the N-648 form. Doctors are not accustomed to having to write such detailed reports or forms in their day to day practice. Typically they have rough notes they enter into your medical record and that is that. When you set up an appointment with your treating doctor, we highly encourage you to inform the doctor that the purpose of your visit is to have them complete an N-648 form if they believe you are eligible for a waiver based on their expertise.

We have found that there are doctors and healthcare systems that are reluctant to offer this service due to the time-intensive nature of the process. Gently remind your doctor how important it is to be through throughout the form.


Your Doctor Must Link the Diagnosis to Why You Can’t Take the N-468 Tests.

An experienced Immigration Lawyer in Maryland can save you a lot of money in your quest for an N-648 waiver. It is not enough that your doctor diagnose you with a certain physical or mental disability in order to get an N-648 waiver approved. The doctor must in fact link the disability to why you cannot take the tests for your naturalization. We see this as one of the most common reasons that waivers are denied.

If you appear at your initial citizenship interview and they do not believe your waiver is sufficient they will let you try to cure it. You essentially get two chances. However, if the waiver is not sufficient the second time they will make you take the civics and English proficiency parts of the exam then and there. It can be very stressful. Of course you can appeal your denial but involves even more filing fee costs.

Retaining an experienced Immigration Lawyer in Maryland can greatly increase your chances of a successfully N-648 disability waiver approval. If you would like to schedule a consultation, our fees are $150.00. If you retain our firm, we deduct the $150 fee from your total retainer. You can call 301.513.7832 to schedule your appointment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Feel free to read some of other immigration blog posts here and here.


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