If you’re like most people applying for immigration benefits in the U.S., or if you’re going through removal proceedings, you have to show the United States government that you’re a person of “good moral character.”
But what does that mean, and how can you prove it?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is Good Moral Character?
Demonstrating good moral character is important in many immigration (and deportation) cases. According to U.S. immigration law, having good moral character means that you don’t have serious criminal issues in your past – and that you generally fulfill your obligations under the law. Formally, the U.S.’s policy is that you must have “character which measures up to the standards of average citizens of the community” where you live.
Why Would the Government Think You Aren’t a Person of Good Moral Character?
If you’ve had legal trouble in your past, you need to know that there are some crimes that the U.S. government considers “crimes of moral turpitude.” That means they’re offensive crimes that could prevent you from coming to the U.S. While there are several very specific offenses that the U.S. government and the court systems consider crimes of moral turpitude, here’s a shortlist to give you an idea:
- Murder or manslaughter
- Spousal or child abuse
- Aggravated assault
- Animal fighting
But even if you have instances of brushes with the law in your past, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not a person of good moral character. This is especially important if you’re fighting removal proceedings – your attorney can still argue on your behalf and may be able to show the immigration judge that you’ve reformed and deserve cancellation of removal or withholding of removal.
Do You Have Questions About Good Moral Character?
If you’re considering immigrating to the U.S., you want to apply for a green card or you’re facing removal proceedings, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule an immigration consultation today.