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What it means to be of good moral character for immigration

On Behalf of | May 19, 2022 | Immigration

You’ve dreamt about living in the U.S. for many years now, and that vision is close to becoming a reality. Soon, you’ll be able to join your family and build a life together, providing the immigration application is approved. 

You keep hearing the term “of good moral character” and you’re not quite sure how to pinpoint its definition. What exactly does this mean? 

That you’re an honest person 

Honesty is fundamental to the immigration process. It also fits into the definition of “good moral character”. USCIS officers will ask you a host of questions during your application, and they’ll expect straight answers. Even in the event that you don’t know something, it’s far better to say that you don’t know rather than make something up. A subtle exaggeration could significantly set your immigration application back. You may even have to start again from scratch. 

That you have a (mostly) clean criminal history 

If you’re a law-abiding citizen, then you have little to worry about. Even if you made some minor mistakes in your younger years, these shouldn’t be held against you indefinitely. As long as you’re open and honest, you should be given the opportunity to explain minor infractions in full.

Crimes of moral turpitude, however, are a different matter. Generally, these involve the most serious offenses, such as murder. However, the offenses don’t necessarily need to involve violence. Serious convictions for fraud or drug trafficking could also amount to crimes of moral turpitude.    

For your immigration application to be successful, it’s important to recognize the expectations that are upon you. If you’re having issues with the process, make sure you reach out to someone who can guide you through any relevant obstacles.