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Role of good moral character in the naturalization process

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2023 | Naturalization |

During the 2022 fiscal year, the United States naturalized almost one million new citizens. However, the naturalization process involves up to several steps and a lot of time.

Part of the US naturalization process requires that you prove that you are of good moral character. This is what you should know.

Good moral character defined

Good moral character means that you accept and have adopted standards of behavior that reflect the average US citizen. You need to prove that you have upheld these standards for at least five years prior to filing for citizenship, and you need to maintain these behaviors through your Oath of Allegiance.

Proving good moral character

You need to show that you have upheld your character for up to 10 years. You should show that your criminal record is clean through an FBI background check and that your reformation or rehabilitation. Collect any special recognition, volunteer work or awards you received. An immigration reference and FBI clearance letter are also helpful.

Activities that prevent naturalization

The government does not restrict bad behavior to criminal convictions or offenses. However, violent crimes, aggravated felonies and other severe crimes, including fraud, burglary and selling drugs and weapons, show a lack of good moral character. In addition, you cannot receive an expungement if you receive more than one conviction, preventing naturalization.

Depraved or vile acts are also immoral because they violate societal responsibilities. Any criminal act can become a crime of moral turpitude, including assault, animal fighting, abuse, kidnapping, rape, robbery, murder, theft, manslaughter, tax fraud and making false statements. Even habitual public intoxication or unlawful voting can impact your status.

To experience a smooth naturalization process, learn about US laws and moral values, and avoid violating them for at least five years prior to your application.