Moral Conduct in an Immigration Process


The moral conduct of an individual is an aspect that is considered of great importance to the American authorities when considering and evaluating an immigration process and is decisive for an immigrant to remain in North American territory.

Any immigrant who comes to the United States in search of the “American dream” or with the intention of obtaining American citizenship must demonstrate that they is a person of goodness, who comes to the country to contribute positively to the economy and the community.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, for its acronym in English), the federal agency that oversees legal immigration to North American soil, undergoes a thorough study of the immigration process of each person, including their criminal history and that of their relatives, if applicable.

USCIS immigration procedures are supported by a Policy Manual, which indicates which acts are considered illegal and provides officials with precise instructions so that they can make fair decisions in each of the immigration processes.

Next, we will explain a little more about the importance of maintaining good moral conduct if you are going to start an immigration process.

What is good moral conduct?

Good moral character, as stated in the USCIS Policy Manual, means conforming to the “standards of the average citizen of the community in which the applicant resides.” In other words, it’s being an honest person, who respects and abides by state and federal laws.

In immigration processes, the legal term “good moral conduct” is used to designate the morally impeccable conduct of a foreigner, who has not committed any act that violates the law, and that consequently, disqualifies them from processing any immigration benefit.

What is not considered good moral conduct?

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The US government has a broad and clear concept of what isn’t good moral conduct, so its regulations establish some crimes that define it.

Good moral conduct is not only determined by a criminal conviction, it can also be determined when there is a suspicion that an immigrant may have committed a crime that violates morality and the laws.

When there is only suspicion of a crime, immigration agencies can rely on the concept of probable cause (reason to believe), provided for in US law, to deny an application.

Among the crimes stipulated to consider that a person doesn’t enjoy good moral conduct are:

  • Aggravated robbery.
  • Bank fraud, health insurance or Social Security fraud.
  • Grand larceny.
  • Murder.
  • Attempted murder.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Aggravated drunk driving charges.
  • Drug trafficking and other related crimes.
  • Illicit firearms trafficking.
  • Assault with a deadly weapon.
  • Workplace sexual harassment.
  • Child pornography and prostitution
  • Rape or assault.
  • Fraud, deception or tax evasion.
  • Identity theft.
  • Falsification of identity documents or immigration documents.
  • Violation of the Embargo Law (Cuban citizens).

What immigration benefits require good moral conduct?

Having good moral conduct is of vital importance to obtain immigration benefits such as:

  • Legal permanent residence.
  • American citizenship.
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  • Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Law (NACARA).
  • Cuban Adjustment Law
  • Asylum.
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

In all these cases, the US government requires the foreigner who applies to be a beneficiary of any of these benefits of the Immigration Law, the demonstration of having good moral conduct in order to consider their case.

What evidence can be collected to prove good moral conduct?

To prove that you have good moral conduct, evidence such as:

  • Testimonials from people: statements from neighbors, bosses, co-workers, fellow students, teachers, who can provide their testimony of what the behavior of a certain person is like in their daily life.
  • Letters from Priests or Pastors: representatives of a religious congregation can also attest to the moral conduct of an individual and how it helps their church.
  • Voluntary work: people who provide voluntary service in organizations such as the Red Cross or in sports or recreational activities carried out in the community, or who contribute their collaboration in the construction of houses, can present the record as evidence.
  • Studies carried out: if a person has been within the educational system, is pursuing higher studies or has taken English courses in United States, they can request a certification that supports and certifies their good moral conduct.
  • Tax payment: submitting the certification of all tax payments is a very important piece of evidence to present, as it verifies that you contribute to the country and are up-to-date in paying your tax obligations.

What is a letter of good moral character?

It’s a letter that is issued at the request of the interested party, which serves to show that person doesn’t have a criminal record and that they maintains good relations with their community.

This letter should establish the relationship between the applicant and the writer, be it a friend, neighbor, employer, or a religious representative.

The letter of good moral character must include the date, personal and contact information of the person who writes it, details of their relationship with the applicant and a positive description of their character. The letter can be concluded with a recommendation about the person requesting it and must have the signature and full name of the person writing it.


At Tramites de Inmigracion USA Corp we put at your disposal our qualified team of professionals specialized in the immigration process.

If you are a law-abiding citizen with high moral values, we provide you with all the necessary advice so that you get the best recommendations and are one-step closer to achieving your American dream.

If you have any questions, we will help you! We will be happy to guide you in your immigration process!

Call now! Contact us at 1 (786) 776-7152 or 1 (786) 786-5088.


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