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What Assistance Does USCIS Provide Applicants With Disabilities

The USCIS (formerly the INS) provides applicants with disabilities the same access to its programs, activitie, and facilities as it does for applicants without any disability. The USCIS provides accommodations and it varies depending on the individual’s disability. It also involves modifications to practices or procedures that allow applicants with disabilities to successfully participate in the immigration processes.

If an applicant is not able to use his/her hands, USCIS may allow him/her to take a test orally rather than in writing. They may provide a sign language interpreter for an appointment or a USCIS-sponsored event for those who are hearing-impaired. In addition, USCIS makes the process much easier and may visit an applicant at his/her home or a hospital if the applicant is unable to travel to a designated location for an interview.

Requesting an Accommodation

If you need an accommodation due to a disability that affects your access to a USCIS program or activity OR if a disability prevents you from going to the designated USCIS office as scheduled, you have to call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD: 1-800-767-1833) to request an accommodation.

You should not call the NCSC if you are a naturalization applicant seeking an exception from the English and/or civics testing requirements. Such applicants have to submit Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions to request an exception. This form is for applicants for American citizenship who wish to get an exception to the English and civics testing requirements for naturalization, “due to physical or developmental disability or mental impairment”.

You can request an accommodation for any interaction with USCIS (including an ASC appointment, InfoPass appointment, interview appointment or naturalization ceremony). You can also request an accommodation to attend a USCIS public event such as a town hall meeting.

If you wish to contact the USCIS for an InfoPass appointment or to attend a public event, you can do so by calling the NCSC at any time. If you need an accommodation for an appointment related with your application/petition, (e.g., an ASC or interview appointment), make sure you call after you have received your appointment notice.

Even if you have mentioned in your application/petition that you need an accommodation, you are required to call the NCSC. You will have to call the NCSC to request an accommodation every time you will be visiting a USCIS office. For example, if you need accommodation for your biometrics appointment you should call the NCSC and then call again if you need accommodation for your interview appointment.

All domestic facilities are accessible to physically challenged applicants. You need not request an accommodation if your only need is an accommodation that would enable or facilitate you having physical access to a domestic USCIS office. At times accommodation requests might be turned down by the USCIS. In such a case and if you believe it was because of an error on their part, you can call the NCSC at the phone numbers mentioned earlier.

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