The naturalization process that you must undertake to become a U.S. citizen has many different steps and there are a number of requirements you’ll need to fulfill in order to become a citizen. One part of the naturalization process involves demonstrating that you have good moral character (GMC).
Understanding the definition of good moral character for immigration purposes can be confusing and you may be uncertain as to whether you qualify or how to show that you have good character. An experienced Maryland good moral character law attorney will guide you through understanding the moral character requirements as well as advise you on all aspects of the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.
Call today to speak with an attorney at Miranda & Weisman, LLC , 410-321-4994. Our experienced Maryland good moral character law attorneys can help you achieve your immigration goals.
Good moral character means character / personality that measures up to the standards of average people within the community where you reside. The GMC requirement was introduced by the Naturalization Act of 1790 and has existed to this day in order to ensure that people who become U.S. citizens behave in the same ethical and righteous manner as the average U.S. citizen behaves.
There are a variety of specific factors that are used to determine if you have GMC. In general, you will need to demonstrate that you have shown good character in the statutory period prior to filing your petition for naturalization and must continue to exhibit GMC until you take the Oath of Allegiance.
The determination of whether you meet the GMC test is made on a case-by-case basis by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Your record; statements that you provide in your naturalization application; and oral testimony that you provide during your USCIS interview may all be used in order to determine if you meet the GMC requirements.
However, there are some behaviors and actions that will disqualify you forever from being considered to have good moral character. Someone who has committed murder or an aggravated felony, for example, can never go through the naturalization process because these crimes are permanent bars to good moral character. Severe violations of religious freedom, torture, persecution and genocide are also permanent bars to good moral character.
Other actions, such as crimes involving moral turpitude can act as a conditional bar to GMC, which means that it is unlikely, but not impossible you will be considered to have the character you need to become a citizen.
If you have committed an offense and are permanently barred from having GMC, then there is little you can do to become a citizen. Outside of this situation, however, you may be able to take many different approaches to proving you have the character needed to be eligible for U.S. citizenship.
A Maryland good moral character law attorney will help determine if you can meet the GMC requirement and will help you to do everything possible to prove you do meet it. Call today, 410-321-4994, to speak with a member of our legal team.