Information for Asylees and Refugees with Disabilities: Forms and Guidance
Refugees naturalize at a higher rate than other, non-refugee immigrants, yet they often face serious challenges in the naturalization process due to advanced age, disabilities, low income, limited English proficiency, and low levels of literacy. Refugees also face challenges to civic participation such as language and cultural barriers, unfamiliarity with U.S. civic institutions, and reluctance to get involved in community affairs due to negative experiences in their native countries.
CLINIC has compiled the following resources to help refugees and asylees with disabilities naturalize.
- A 2006 USCIS document offering policy guidance on disability waivers;
- A sample letter requesting accomodations at a CIS interview;
- A form to file a Section 504 complaint for discrimination on the basis of disability;
- A USCIS memorandum offering guidelines on reasonable accomodations for naturalization applicants with disabilities;
- A USCIS document explaining when the oath of allegiance requirement can be waived;
- Guidelines from the Asian Law Caucus explaining the N-648 (disability waiver for naturalization) form;
- A USCIS memorandum explaining the role of legal guardians or proxies in naturalization proceedings;
- A HIAS alert offering helpful hints for doctors about the new requirements on the N-648;
- A USCIS memorandum offering policy guidance on waivers for fingerprint requirement;
- An IRC sample letter for doctors regarding the N-648 disability waiver;
- A 2007 USCIS memorandum offering policy guidance on the N-648 disability waiver.
In addition, the following resources are available online:
- Form N-648 (Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions), for applicants who seek an exception to to the English and civics testing requirements for naturalization "because of physical or developmental disability or mental impairment"; and
- A Resource Guide for Serving Refugees With Disabilities from the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.