WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced updated policy guidance aligned with the revision of Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, as part of the administration's commitment to removing barriers to legal immigration. These changes, in line with President Biden’s Executive Order 14012, aim to streamline the naturalization process and support integration and inclusion efforts for New Americans.
Form N-648, designed for naturalization applicants facing physical or developmental disabilities or mental impairments hindering compliance with English and civics testing requirements, has undergone simplification and reduction. The revised form, shaped by public comments and feedback from a Federal Register notice and a Request for Public Input (RPI) in April 2021, aligns with Executive Order 13985, focusing on eliminating barriers for underserved populations.
USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou highlighted the agency's responsiveness to public needs, stating, “The changes made to Form N-648 are yet another way in which USCIS is removing barriers to naturalization, in accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order 14012 and EO 13985.”
Key revisions to Form N-648 include the removal of questions regarding the impact of relevant disabilities on specific daily functions, such as work or school attendance. Redundant or impractical questions, including those concerning dates of diagnosis, severity descriptions, and the certifying medical professional's pre-existing relationship with the applicant, have been eliminated. The updated form also introduces the option for the medical professional to indicate an applicant’s need for an oath waiver, eliminating the necessity for separate documentation.
In addition, the updated policy provides guidance for telehealth medical examinations and allows USCIS to accept Form N-648 submissions after the filing of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
Applicants and stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback on these updates through the Policy Manual Feedback page.