What are the good moral character requirements to apply for U.S. Citizenship?

Posted on April 28, 2010. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , |

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U.S. citizenship requirements states that, you can obtain U.S. citizenship either by birth or by law. You acquire U.S. citizenship by birth, if you were born in the U.S. or if your parents are U.S. citizens. Obtaining U.S. citizenship by law is through naturalization.

The U.S. citizenship requirements also states that, any individual who is applying for U.S. citizenship should have good moral character. USCIS determines whether you have a good moral character based on the laws which the Congress has passed. The good moral character requirements should be satisfied so that the applicant does not become a threat to the United States government.

Good moral character requirements:

USCIS considers the following, to establish that you satisfy the good moral character requirements:
• Criminal Record
• Lying

Criminal Record

According to U.S. citizenship requirements, you should not be involved in any crime, murder and burglary. The bars will be called during the naturalization examination, therefore you cannot falsely justify that you satisfy the good moral character requirements. Certain offenses will temporarily prevent you from obtaining U.S. citizenship for a particular period of time.

Form N-400, Form for Naturalization asks a number of questions about your criminal history. If you do not mention about all the crime details, your application for U.S. citizenship will be rejected. Per U.S. citizenship requirements even if a crime is removed from your record or if it occured before your 18th birthday, you should mention that as well in your application. If you have committed some serious crimes, USCIS will not grant you citizenship.


Always tell the truth during your interview with USCIS. If you lie or hide anything, your application will be denied for lacking good moral character. If USCIS grants you the U.S. citizenship and later finds out that you have lied during the interview, your citizenship may be taken way. Moreover the purpose of these interviews is to verify that you will not be a threat to the United States.

Examples that indicate that you are lacking the good moral character requirements:
• Any crime that was intended to harm a person.
• Crime against the U.S. government.
• Practicing polygamy.
• Involvement in illegal gambling, prostitution and smuggling.
• U.S. citizenship requirements states that you should not be a drunkard.
• Lying for the sake of immigration.
• Persecuting anyone because of race, religion, political or social group.
• Involvement in terrorist activities.
• Failing to pay any court ordered payments.

The other U.S. citizenship requirements that you should qualify are – you should be 18 years old and a lawful permanent resident. You should have proficient knowledge and fluency in English. You should also possess good knowledge concerning the history, role and functioning of the U.S. government. Finally you have to take an oath that you are attached to the U.S. constitution. If you meet all the requirements you are not far away from being a U.S. citizen.


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