While qualifying for citizenship in the U.S. can be rewarding, the application process is fairly complex. You need to satisfy numerous elements for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
One factor that you’ll need to prove is that you are a person of “good moral character”. But what exactly does this mean?
The meaning of “good moral character”
While USCIS doesn’t provide a precise definition of the term, there are certainly several key factors that are taken into consideration. A person shows good moral character if they are honest and trustworthy. So, if an individual has worked hard and always paid their taxes, this will certainly bode well for any immigration applications. It will also reflect well on the applicant if they have honored other legal obligations such as paying child support.
Barriers to showing good moral character
If you can’t show good moral character then you may have problems with your application. As stated, honesty and trust are fundamental to immigration applications. If you have ever been charged with a serious crime, including financial crimes, this could impact your application.
Additionally, if there are any signs of dishonesty on your immigration forms this will raise questions as to your character. This includes if you have ever been dishonest when helping a friend or family with their immigration applications.
Even if you have been charged in the past, this doesn’t necessarily make your quest for citizenship impossible. If you can show that you have been of good moral character for a sustained period (usually at least 5 years), your application may still be considered.
Seek legal guidance to give yourself the best possible chance of a positive outcome.