Disability Accommodations for the Public
An accommodation is a change in a USCIS practice or procedure that allows a qualified individual with a disability to participate in our programs and activities and access our benefits.
An accommodation gives you an equal opportunity to:
- Get the same result,
- Gain the same benefit, or
- Reach the same level of achievement (such as become a U.S. citizen).
- If you are deaf and understand sign language, we may provide a sign language interpreter for a USCIS appointment.
- If you are hard of hearing, we may provide captioning or an assistive listening device for a USCIS outreach event.
- If you are unable to travel for an appointment with USCIS due to a serious medical condition, USCIS may visit you at your home or a medical facility.
- If you are unable to use your hands, we may allow you to take the writing part of the naturalization test orally.
If you are unable to speak and/or are deaf, that is considered a disability. However, if you are unable to speak English because you do not understand English (but you can vocalize other languages), that is not a disability and we will not provide an interpreter unless you are otherwise eligible.
How to Request an Accommodation
If you need to request a disability accommodation:
- Go to uscis.gov/accommodations to make your request online; or
- Ask the USCIS Contact Center for help in English or Spanish. Asylum and NACARA 203 applicants must call to make their request.
If you need an accommodation for an appointment (fingerprinting, interview, naturalization ceremony, etc.), we encourage you to request your accommodation immediately when you receive your appointment notice. If you already requested an accommodation on your application, we recommend you also request your accommodation online or by phone as described above.
You must request an accommodation each time you need one for each USCIS appointment (such as for a fingerprinting, interview, or naturalization ceremony).
If you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter due to a disability:
- You can access all USCIS facilities in the United States.
- You do not need to inform us that you are a wheelchair-user before your appointment if your only concern is entering and navigating the building.
Medical Exception to the English and Civics Requirements (Compared to a Disability Accommodation)
Requesting a medical exception to the English and civics requirements for naturalization is different from requesting a disability accommodation for the requirements.
If you can satisfy the English and civics requirements with an accommodation, you do not need to request an exception. An accommodation only modifies the manner in which you meet a requirement, but does not excuse you from meeting it. For example, if you are deaf and know sign language, you may be able to use a sign language interpreter to complete all naturalization testing and interviewing requirements. In this situation, you do not need to request a medical exception.
A medical exception to the English and civics requirements excuses you from one or more of the requirements. For example, if an individual has an intellectual disability that prevents them from being able to learn English and they cannot meet any of the requirements for this reason, they can request a medical exception.
To apply for a medical exception, you must have your doctor complete Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions. Generally, you must file Form N-648 at the same time as your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
There are occasions when you may request both a medical exception and a disability accommodation. For example, if you are deaf and use a sign language interpreter, and are also intellectually disabled and unable to meet the English and civics requirements, you can submit Form N-648 and also request that we provide a sign language interpreter for your interview.
You may also qualify for an exception based on your age and number of years as a lawful permanent resident. For more information about eligibility for age-related naturalization testing exceptions, see the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12, Part C, English and Civics Testing Exceptions.
For more information about disability exceptions:
Oath Waiver Based on a Medical Disability
We may waive the Oath of Allegiance if you are unable to understand (or communicate an understanding of) its meaning because of a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment. For more information about oath waivers due to medical disability, see the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12, Part J, Chapter 3, Oath of Allegiance Modifications and Waivers.
For information about medical accommodations for the Oath of Allegiance, see the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12, Part C, Chapter 3(C), Accommodations for the Oath of Allegiance.
Fingerprint Waiver Based on a Medical Condition
You may qualify for a waiver of the fingerprint requirement if you are unable to provide fingerprints because of a medical condition, including birth defects, physical deformities, skin conditions, and psychiatric conditions. For more information about fingerprint waivers due to a medical condition, see the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12, Part B, Chapter 2(B), Fingerprints.
Accommodation Request Denials
If we deny your accommodation request and you believe it was in error, you may:
- Call the USCIS Contact Center and ask us to reconsider the decision. If you have new information about your request, provide it to the USCIS Contact Center. For more information about requests for reconsideration, see the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 1, Part A, Chapter 6, Customer Service, Disability Accommodation Requests.
- Make a complaint with the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
USCIS Policy Manual
- USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 1, Part A, Chapter 6, Customer Service, Disability Accommodation Requests
- USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12, Part C, Accommodations for Citizenship and Naturalization
- USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12, Part E, Chapter 3, English and Civics Testing and Exceptions, Medical Disability Exception (N-648)