What is Good Moral Character in Immigration?
Updated: Mar 13
"Good moral character" is a requirement of many sorts of relief in immigration, such as VAWA cancellation of removal and citizenship. The requirements of good moral character can seem self-explanatory, but unfortunately it's not.
USCIS is looking for someone who's a productive citizen who hasn't gotten in trouble. This can mean the lack of a criminal record or any trouble with the law, a steady job record, good reputation in the community, and a history of taking care of your family.
The following things prohibit you from establishing good moral character:
Conviction for an Aggravated Felony
Spent 180 Days or More in Jail
Lying to Get Immigration Benefits
Being a Habitual Drunkard
There are also other things that can prevent you from showing good moral character, such as committing a criminal act (even if you were not convicted), lying about being a US citizen, and refusing to pay child support.
Even if some of these things apply to you, this does not necessarily mean you cannot establish good moral character, but it may require more work. You should contact an experienced immigration attorney to evaluate your case and determine the best course of action.
Even though my office is located in Boston, I handle immigration cases all over Massachusetts. If you need an immigration attorney, contact me today at 617-356-8217 and set up a consultation.