By Ame Coats, Senior Counsel
Congratulations to our client Daniel S. for a successful interview last week on his application for naturalization! Our office also handled Daniel’s permanent resident application, so we know him very well. When Daniel asked me about becoming a US Citizen, I was afraid that he would not be able to pass the English and Civics tests required for Naturalization because of a pre-existing disability. However, I told Daniel about a waiver of the English and Civics knowledge requirements available to those who can show that they have a disability which prevents them from learning this knowledge or demonstrating their knowledge.
In order to apply for the waiver, the naturalization applicant must file Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, which has been completed by a qualified medical professional. I was concerned that even if we submitted a properly completed N-648 form for Daniel, USCIS might decide that Daniel simply hadn’t tried hard enough to learn English since he had lived in the US for over 30 years. For this reason, it was crucial that Daniel’s doctor take the time to give a detailed explanation in layman’s terms as to how Daniel’s disability prevented him from learning English.
Our office consulted with the doctor to make sure that the doctor understood the importance of explaining Daniel’s disability and its effect on his ability to learn languages. Our efforts paid off – the N-648 was approved without incident. Daniel is scheduled to take his oath for US Citizenship in just a couple of weeks!
For more information on the Citizenship Process check out our Webinar Presentation on How To Become A US Citizen Through Naturalization.