What does it mean to be of good moral character? 

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2022 | Immigration Explained

If you’re applying for permanent residency in the U.S., then you’ve probably heard the phrase “A person of good moral character” multiple times. While filling in your forms and answering questions at interviews, you’re always as open and honest as possible. 

However, this question of what it means to be of good moral character is always in the back of your mind. So, what exactly does it mean? 

You’re expected to be law-abiding 

Whether you’re a U.S. citizen or an immigrant, you are expected to adhere to the laws of the land. During your immigration application, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will look into your past, including whether or not you have a criminal history. 

If you have never been convicted of a crime, then you have little to worry about. Even if you got into some trouble in the past, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your application will be unsuccessful. However, if you have a record for a crime of moral turpitude, this could be a different matter. Crimes of this nature, such as murder, serious fraud or other violent offenses may fall under this bracket, and your application could fail if you have a history of such offenses.

Good behavior must be continuous 

Even when you have been granted permission to reside in the U.S., you are still expected to maintain the standard of being a person of good moral character. The commission of any crime on U.S. soil, especially crimes of moral turpitude, could see your status revoked and you could face potential deportation.  

If you’re having problems with your immigration application or are facing the prospect of being deported, it’s important to assert your legal rights. Having experienced guidance behind you will give you a better chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.