The N-648 Medical Certificate for Disability

The immigration N-648 form is the form used to request an exemption from English and civics testing of an individual in case of a medical disability or impairment. If you are applying for a green card to live in the United States permanently, you need to pass the green card English test and civic test. However, if you have any sort of physical or mental disorder, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will make an exception for you. Here in NYCDocs in the Bronx, NYC, we will answer all your queries regarding the form N-648.

What is an N-648 Medical Certificate?

To apply to live in the US as a citizen, you need to go through several steps. USCIS I-485 is the form for your application to receive the green card and N-400 is the request for naturalization. According to this process, you need to have learned English and civics along with some other subjects. But if you have any kind of physical and/or mental disorder, you are exempt from learning these two. But this application is a request and the form for this is known as the USCIS N-648 form that must be completed by a licensed medical practitioner who can vouch for your mental or physical inability to fulfill these requirements and submitted with your N-400 application form. This means that the doctor must provide accurate information of your diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, medical evidence, and the limitations that affect your ability to learn civics and English. For your immigration, it is advised to get in touch with a qualified professional for filling out your N-648 form for example an immigration attorney to ensure the form is correctly filled out. Also, make sure you have all the supporting documents as proof of your disability.

Sections of N-648 Medical Certificate

The N-648 consists of six sections–

Section 1: Applicant information- Collection of basic information such as full name, date of birth, blood group, Alien Registration Number (A-number) etc. identifying details will be required for your N-648 form.

Section 2: Evaluation of disability- The medical practitioner will assess your disability and describe it in this section of the form N-648. They will do a detailed diagnosis, the duration of the impairment and how it has an impact over your ability to learn English and/or civics.

Section 3: Certificate of Medical Professional- The medical professional’s certificate serves as proof of the accuracy of the information provided in the form. They state that they have thoroughly examined the applicant and are qualified enough to diagnose the disability or impairment.

Section 4: Information of Interpreter: If the applicant does not speak English and there is an interpreter involved in the process, in this section of the N-648 form, the interpreter’s information is included.

Section 5: Applicant’s release of information: The applicant must permit the sharing of their medical information through the form N-648.

Section 6: Contact information and declaration- In this section, the doctor provides their contact info and assert that whatever information they have given about the applicant is true as per their assessment.

Eligibility to apply for the N-648 form

To be eligible for the applying for the N-648 form, an individual must be

  • Applying for a permanent residence in the United States through the naturalization process
  • Having a diagnosed physical and/or mental disability to to learn civics and English and possessing supporting documents
  • Having a licensed medical practitioner, psychiatrist, or a clinical psychologist who can have assessed their condition affecting the ability to learn English and civics
  • The illness or impairment must have remained for one year or more
Examples of medical conditions:
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Cancer patients on chemotherapy
  • Dementia
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Physical disabilities that hampers with studies such as multiple sclerosis
  • Cognitive distortions like ADHD, Bipolar disorders, Obsessive Compulsive disorders, PTSD etc.

Key Points of the USCIS N-648 form

The N-648 form is pivotal for people unable to meet the English and civics requirements of US citizenship due to physical and/or mental disability. Below are the key points of the N-648 form.

Purpose: The purpose behind the N-648 form is the request for exclusion from the English and/or civics requirements in case of a physical or mental illness.

Completion: The form N-648 must always be filled out by a medical practitioner and/or a clinical psychologist who has assessed the medical condition of the applicant.

Medical Evidence: The statement of physical and/or mental illness of the applicant must be supported with medical evidence and legal proof with an elaborate description of the illness and how it affects the individual.

Documentation: Medical records such as test results, duration of medication use etc must be included with the complete N-648 form. This helps the immigration authorities realize the extent of the impairment and its effects on the applicant.

Submission: The complete N-648 form must be submitted as part of the naturalization application form N-400 to the USCIS.

Review Processing Time: USCIS reviews the N-648 form to check if the applicant can be exempted from the language and civics requirements due to their disability. The time taken for the entire review process depends on USCIS.

The duration of submission and interview depends on the workload of USCIS and whether or not you have presented enough evidence. If you have not submitted necessary info, you might go through holdups in the approval process.

Validity: The validity of the N-648 form depends on USCIS too. If it is accepted, the applicant will be exempted from specific naturalization requirements.

Legal Assistance: Applicants must seek legal assistance from an immigration attorney or any licensed individual to complete the N-648 form to ensure filling it out accurately.

DONE for doctors

If you are a doctor who is completing your patient’s form N-648, you must remember DONE.

D-Diagnosis of the health issue and explain in easier terms

O-Origin of the disease

N-Nexus, the symptoms of the disability that prevents the examinee from learning English and/or US civics

E-Effect, your conclusion that the applicant cannot learn English and/or civics It is mandatory to note that the N-648 form is a form for applicants with mental or physical disability and thus they are requesting for an exemption from the language and civics requirements of USCIS. Below is a list you must keep in mind-

  • There is no filing fee for the form N-648. But a medical professional might charge you if he is examining you and also he is the one filling out the form.
  • Only a medical doctor of osteopathy, psychiatry, or a clinical psychologist who is licensed to legally practice in the United States can certify form N-648. You can always get in touch with the state medical board to check if your doctor has a valid license or not.
  • The evaluation and diagnosis must be done in person. In some states, telehealth services are allowed. You must make sure you are following the state guidelines for the N-648 form.
  • You must read the applicant’s attestation and release of information thoroughly and sign it. If you are incapable of signing it, a legal guardian, surrogate, or a designated representative may sign it on your behalf.

Form N-648 refusal

If your N-648 form is denied during the interview, USCIS will ask you to sit for English and civics tests. Before naturalization is decided, you will need to pass these tests both at the interview and the re-examination. If you refuse to do so, USCIS will deny your naturalization application without a valid reason.

If you decline to meet the requirements or fail to pass, USCIS will refuse your naturalization. If you can prepare the requirements, do so to ensure your disability waiver and fill out your N-400 to get proper accommodations.