ILRC Comments to USCIS on Policy Manual Changes to Naturalization Disability Waivers

Policy Advocacy
Publication Date

On October 19, 2022, USCIS published major revisions to their Policy Manual on the English and/or Civics disability waiver for naturalization applicants. Overall, these changes were a welcome improvement in access to the disability waiver. However,  we opposed the sections in the revised Policy Manual and N-648 that add a question about understanding the oath of allegiance. The oath waiver and the English/civics disability waiver derive from separate sections of the law and have different eligibility standards. We believe that asking the medical professional who is judging the ability to learn English and/or civics for a disability waiver to answer questions about understanding of an oath will create many unnecessary barriers for applicants with disabilities. In addition, we oppose three of the six credible doubt scenarios that the revised Policy Manual includes because we believe they describe arbitrary circumstances that will raise the burden of proof beyond the correct standard of preponderance of the evidence.