Month: October 2008

The N-648 medical waiver for Naturalizaton applicants

The N-648 medical waiver (formally known as Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions) is used to exempt people who have a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment from the requirement to demonstrate the otherwise required knowledge of English language and US history and civics in the Naturalization process.  The form is to be completed by the applicant’s physician.  It provides instructions to the physician as well as samples of the correct terminology.  The concepts are simple: the physician states a clinical diagnosis and description of the applicant’s disability or impairment, explains the connection between the impairment and the applicant’s inability to learn or demonstrate knowledge of English and history and finally, states their professional opinion that the applicant is unable to comply with the normal requirements of the test because of the disability.  While this sounds simple, physicians often do not have the time or the patience (no pun intended) to properly complete the form.  Gerstein & Gerstein Attorneys, PA has had much success in resolving these cases.  Often, we’re contacted by an applicant or their family member after their application has been denied or they have been rescheduled to present a properly completed application.  We work closely with physicians to properly and fully complete the form so that the applicant’s waiver can be granted.  Proper planning and understanding of the requirements can lead to a very smooth process.  The hiring of an attorney experienced in dealing with these matters goes a long way and, if the attorney is involved from the beginning, fees can often be less than when the attorney has to rectify the situation after the fact.