Who may act for a disabled immigrant during naturalization?

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2023 | Immigration |

Even if a foreign resident has a disability that impairs movement and communication, it does not mean that person can never become a U.S. citizen. If you have a disabled family member who wants to complete naturalization but cannot undergo a naturalization test, you could act on behalf of your relative.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, applicants must take a naturalization exam and the Oath of Allegiance. However, the USCIS can set aside the oath and allow someone to complete the naturalization process for a disabled immigrant.

Qualified persons

The USCIS establishes different kinds of people who can complete naturalization for a disabled applicant. One example is someone designated by a court to be the surrogate or legal guardian of the applicant.

If this does not describe you, you could still act for your family member if you are a spouse of the applicant. Alternatively, you could be a blood relative, such as a parent, adult child or adult sibling. In these cases, you must be a U.S. citizen.

Priority of persons

Be aware that USCIS only recognizes a single representative of a disabled applicant. To avoid conflict between potential representatives, immigration authorities prioritize them in a specific order.

If you are a legal guardian or the surrogate of your relative, your role takes top priority. From there, the USCIS will designate a representative who is a spouse, parent, adult child or adult sibling in descending order of priority.

Even severely disabled foreign residents have the hope of enjoying U.S. citizenship. Provided you can establish your relationship with your relative, you may be in a position to help a disabled family member achieve this dream.