Requesting Special Accommodations for Disabilities
July 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
The USCIS does not prevent qualified applicants with disabilities from obtaining immigration benefits. USCIS provides modifications and accommodations for people with disabilities, to make sure that they are not left out from the activities of the USCIS, because of their disabilities. Through the modifications, qualified, disabled applicants are provided with an equal opportunity to take part in the programs of the USCIS.
An accommodation is not an exemption from a current procedure of the USCIS. It is only a modification which will allows an applicant with a disability to take part in the USCIS immigration process. However, the applicant must satisfy all the requirements but the way through which the applicant meets the requirement will change. Modifications for all disabilities are not the same, accommodations vary with respect to the disability of the applicant.
The basic aspect of providing an accommodation is to allow the applicant to take part completely in the immigration process. If the applicant is unable to use his hands, he will be allowed to take an oral test. USCIS may provide sign interpreters for people who are hearing-impaired. The USCIS officials may visit an applicant at his home or hospital, if the applicant is unable to travel to the USCIS office. A person who is unable to speak will receive the required accommodation through which he may be able to respond to questions. There will not be any alteration in the fundamental nature of the USCIS immigration program, as a result of providing accommodations.
There are certain rare cases where the accommodation requested by an applicant may require a fundamental alteration or may result in excessive burden to the USCIS. In such cases the Field Office must provide the requested accommodation or an alternative accommodation which will allow the applicant to take part in the procedure.
Making a Request for an Accommodation
It is the responsibility of the applicant with disability, to request an accommodation for a particular program. An accommodation may also be requested by someone who is acting on behalf of the applicant. The applicant or the person who is acting on behalf of the applicant must go to the Application Support Center to make a verbal and a written request. An INFOPASS appointment must be made, for appointments at a local office, after which the applicant or the person acting on behalf of the applicant must make a verbal and a written request for an accommodation well in advance of the scheduled date of appointment.
An accommodation will be provided based on when an accommodation was requested and whether the requested accommodation requires early planning. Certain types of accommodations such as speaking loudly to the applicant who is hearing-impaired and providing extra time for an applicant with arthritis, to write the civics test, may be provided immediately. Accommodations related to arranging a sign language interpreter must be planned in advance. Similarly, scheduling a homebound interview requires advance planning.