USCIS may waive the Oath of Allegiance for an applicant who is unable to understand or communicate an understanding of the meaning of the Oath due to a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment.
In order to waive the Oath, USCIS requires a written evaluation by a certified medical professional (Form N-648 Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions) and a written request by a certified medical professional.
The written request submitted in addition to form N-648 must meet these requirements:
- Be completed by the medical professional who has had the longest relationship with the applicant or is most familiar with the applicant’s medical history.
- Express the applicant’s medical condition and disability in terms that the USCIS officer can understand.
- State why and how the applicant is unable to understand or communicate an understanding of the Oath of Allegiance.
- Indicate the likelihood of the applicant being able to communicate or demonstrate an understanding of the meaning of the Oath of Allegiance.
- Be signed by the medical professional completing the form N-648 and contain the medical professional’s state license number.
If USCIS grants a waiver of the Oath of Allegiance, a legal guardian, surrogate, or eligible designated representative will be able to act on behalf of the applicant in the naturalization process.
A person who is eligible to act on behalf of the applicant may be:
- A person who a court has designated as the applicant’s legal guardian or surrogate.
- If the applicant does not have a court designated legal guardian or surrogate, a United States Citizen spouse, parent, adult child, or adult sibling who is the primary caregiver and who takes responsibility for the applicant.
USCIS recognizes designated representatives in this order of priority:
- Legal guardian or surrogate
- S. citizen spouse
- S. citizen parent
- S. citizen adult child
- S. citizen adult sibling
A legal guardian or surrogate acting on behalf of an applicant must provide documentation of legal guardianship.
A relative designated representative must provide:
- Proof of familial relationship such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or adoption decree.
- Documentation establishing primary care and responsibility such as income tax returns, Social Security Administration documents, sworn statements from other relatives, etc.
- Proof of U.S. citizenship (Certificate of Naturalization, U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport).