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Good Moral Character and the Path to Naturalization

Before filing your application for U.S. Citizenship, you should consult a qualified immigration attorney who will guide you step by step through the process to avoid drawbacks and delays. An experienced immigration lawyer will propose solutions of how to deal with occurrences that may pose threat to your timely Naturalization. Be aware that you must demonstrate ”good moral character” in order to obtain your U.S. citizenship. At the time when you apply for your Naturalization, the USCIS has the right to investigate your life activities, especially the last five years (last 3 years if you are married to a US citizen) prior to your application.

The best way to prove you have good moral character is to demonstrate a lack of criminal record, that you do NOT owe child support, or taxes to the IRS. In some cases, you may want to present letters from your former spouse, employer, pastor or neighbors that attest to your good moral character. You should have copies of your U.S. tax returns available, but your Immigration lawyer can best advise you regarding this. Examples of a ”lack of moral character” that may affect the outcome of your Naturalization application are:

– A conviction of a controlled substance violation

–  Sentenced to more than 180 days based on a criminal plea or conviction

–  Gambling offences, smuggling, prostitution, habitual drinking

Your chances to demonstrate good moral character are low if you have been convicted of a felony. Always seek experienced Immigration counsel in such cases, as an application for Citizenship can quickly turn into Removal (Deportation) for the unwary..

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