Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions

Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions

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What is Form N-648?

  • Form N-648, also known as the “Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions,” is a form used by individuals applying for U.S. citizenship who are unable to:
    • Learn or demonstrate basic knowledge of U.S. history and government, and/or
    • Speak, read, and write basic English due to a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment
  • The form must be completed by a licensed medical professional, such as:
    • Medical doctors
    • Doctors of osteopathy
    • Clinical psychologists
  • The medical professional must describe the nature and severity of the disability or impairment and explain how it prevents the applicant from meeting the citizenship requirements
  • Submitting Form N-648 along with the naturalization application (Form N-400) allows the applicant to request an exception to the English and/or civics testing requirements for citizenship
  • If approved, the applicant may be exempt from these requirements and still be eligible for U.S. citizenship

What kind of disabilities qualify for Form N-648?

  • Form N-648 is filed by naturalization applicants with physical or developmental disabilities, or mental impairments, that significantly affect their ability to:
    • Learn or demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history and government, and/or
    • Speak, read, and write basic English 
  • The disability and/or impairment must result from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities which can be shown by clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques
  • The disability and/or impairment must result in functioning so impaired that the applicant is unable to demonstrate the required knowledge

Note: only a licensed medical professional can determine if the applicant meets Form N-648 requirements.

Examples of disabilities that may qualify include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical disabilities: These can include conditions that affect mobility, dexterity, or sensory functions, making it difficult for individuals to engage in language or civics testing
  • Developmental disabilities: Conditions such as intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, or other developmental delays that impact cognitive function and learning abilities
  • Mental health impairments: Psychiatric disorders that affect an individual’s ability to concentrate, retain information, or communicate effectively
  • Neurological conditions: Certain neurological disorders or conditions, such as traumatic brain injuries, stroke-related impairments, or conditions affecting speech and language abilities
  • Cognitive impairments: Conditions that impact cognitive function, memory, or comprehension, making it challenging for individuals to learn or retain information required for citizenship testing

Who doesn’t need to file Form N-648?

The following naturalization applicants do not need to file Form N-648:

  • Applicants who can take the English and civics test but require reasonable accommodations (such as: sign language interpreter, extended time for testing, and off-site examination)
  • Illiteracy and advanced age alone are not valid reasons for filing Form N-648

Who can sign Form N-648?

Form N-648, the Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, can be signed only by the following licensed medical professionals:

  • Medical doctors
  • Doctors of osteopathy
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Medical professionals listed above must be licensed to practice in the U.S. (including the U.S. territories of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands)

How long will Form N-648 be valid for?

Form N-648 must be submitted to USCIS, along with Form N-400, no more than 180 days after the medical professional signed it. 

Otherwise, Form N-648 will become invalid and you will need to submit a new form.

How much does it cost to file Form N-648?

There is no filing fee for Form N-648, the Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions.  

However, a licensed medical professional may charge a fee for a medical examination.

When Form N-648 must be submitted?

Form N-648 should be submitted together with Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. 

USCIS also allows submitting Form N-648 after Form N-400 is registered.

How to file Form N-648

Note: Form N-648 is completed by the licensed medical professional (medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy or clinical psychologist).

To file Form N-648, “Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions,” you need to take the following steps:

Step 1. Review Eligibility Criteria: 

  • Review the eligibility criteria for requesting a disability exception
  • Find a licensed medical professional who can evaluate your eligibility and conduct your medical examination
  • Medical professional must first conduct an examination of the applicant prior to signing Form N-648

Step 2. Medical Professional Completes the Form (Parts 1-3): 

  • Obtain the most current version of Form N-648 from the official USCIS website 
  • Using an outdated version of the form will lead in rejection of your request
  • Fill out Form N-648 accurately and completely
  • Answer all questions
  • Medical professional signs and dates the form
  • USCIS does not accept typed or stamped signatures. It must be a handwritten ink signature 

Step 3. Naturalization Applicant Completes the Form (Part 6): 

  • Answer all questions
  • If a question does not apply to you, enter “N/A” (not applicable
  • Applicant signs and dates the form
  • USCIS does not accept typed or stamped signatures. It must be a handwritten ink signature

Step 4. Medical Professional Gathers Supporting Documents (if applicable): 

  • Detailed assessment of the applicant’s physical or developmental disabilities or mental impairments that may affect the applicant’s ability to successfully complete the English and/or civics requirements
  • Supporting documentation (medical diagnostic reports or records)

Step 5. Applicant Submits the Form:

  • Form N-648 must be submitted together with Form N-400
  • Mail Your Application: Mail Form N-648 and Form N-400 to the correct N-400 filing address provided on the USCIS website

Step 6. Await USCIS Response: 

  • Once USCIS receives your application, they will register your Form N-648 it and notify you of their decision
  • If approved, you will not be required to take the English and/or civics tests

Where to send Form N-648?

Form I-648 along with Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization) must be submitted to the correct Form N-400 filing address provided on the USCIS website.

Failure to mail the application to the correct filing address will result in rejection or significant delays in processing.

Related Links:

U.S. Citizenship Application Guide – N-400

How Much Does it Cost to Become a U.S. Citizen? N-400

N-400 Checklist – Citizenship Application