On February 12, 2019, new USCIS policy guidance went into effect regarding Form N-648, the Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions. Effective August 12, 2019, USCIS will only accept the new edition of Form N-648, dated 5/23/19. Form N-648 provides an opportunity for naturalization applicants who have a physical, developmental, or mental health disability to naturalize without meeting the English and/or civics requirements. In this webinar, we will review the criteria for the N-648 and discuss how medical providers can complete a successful N-648 for naturalization applicants.
Melissa Rodgers is the Director of Programs based in San Francisco. She directs the New Americans Campaign (NAC), a national initiative for which the ILRC serves as the lead agency, which brings together national and local organizations in partnership with a funder collaborative to increase naturalization among eligible lawful permanent residents. She contributes to the ILRC’s manual entitled, Naturalization and U.S. Citizenship: The Essential Legal Guide.
Melissa, who joined the ILRC in 2013, started her legal career working with mainly immigrant clients at the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. She brings to the ILRC more than a decade of non-profit leadership experience. Prior to joining the ILRC, Melissa was the director of Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Health Care and Coverage program. Before that, she served as the Directing Attorney of the Child Care Law Center, the Associate Director of the UC Berkeley School of Law Center on Health, Economic & Family Security, and a Directing Attorney and Director of the Health Consumer Center at the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. She founded a medical-legal collaboration program with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, created and co-taught medical-legal courses at both Stanford Law School/Stanford Medical School and University of California at Berkeley School of Law/University of California at San Francisco. She has authored articles, policy briefs, and reports in the area of health care.
Melissa has a Master’s of Education as well as a law degree with honors from Harvard University. She also has a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the OneJustice Executive Fellowship program. Melissa is a member of the California bar. She is a native speaker of French and is conversant in Spanish.
Veronica Serrato, Executive Director - Project Citizenship
Veronica Serrato is the founding Executive Director at Project Citizenship, a nonprofit organization working to increase the naturalization rates for legal permanent residents in New England. Over the past three years, Project Citizenship has been responsible for the naturalization of more than 6,100 permanent residents. Serrato has a long history in legal services, which includes positions in family and guardianship law. Serrato clerked for Chief Justice Hennessey at the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. She graduated from Boston University School of Law with a JD, cum laude, in 1988 and later taught legal writing, research, and oral advocacy at BU Law for seven years. At Harvard University, she completed her AB in government. Veronica is the recipient of the 2013 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Top Women in Law Award, the 2015 Boston University School of Law Public Interest Attorney Award and the 2016 Boston University School of Law Victor G. Garo Public Service Award. She is the 2017 Silver Shingle award from the Boston University School of Law for Service to the Community. She received the Ohtli Award in 2018 from the Mexican government for her service to Mexican citizens.