Having clean records helps when you file N400 application for naturalization!


Acquiring the United States citizenship is through a naturalization process which ensures that the person entitled for it is right in all aspects. Apart from the minimum continuous residential requirement of five years, in case of spouse of a US citizen the period is 3 years, as a lawful permanent resident above the age of 18 years and passing the citizenship test and interview, there is need for the applicant to have good moral character.

According to United States law good moral character is a defined legal concept that details requirements to be considered for certain positions or benefits. By the federal governments in US immigration law this term is predominantly used. A person must be considered of “good moral character” in order to obtain US citizenship through naturalization process. The term specifies the behaviors in which the applicant should not have involved in, according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Even minor violations leads to the rejection of your N400 application form.

When you apply for US citizenship using US immigration Form N400, USCIS has the right to investigate and do background check of the applicants for period before applying to scrutinize and find about your moral character.

USCIS describes you to have a good moral character if you were not involved in the following activities:

  • Being convicted of murder
  • Being convicted of an aggravated lawbreaking or Federal crime like rape, sexual abuse of a minor. Also illicit trafficking of prohibited substances, destructive devices or explosive materials offenses, money laundering, any criminal violence for which you have served at least a year imprisonment including burglary or theft and crimes which involves demand or receipt of ransom are unacceptable offenses.
  • Applicant  involving in crimes like child pornography, criminal activities against government, in prostitution managing and transporting activities, any national security threatening activity, any fraud involving activity leading to the victim’s loss of more than $10,000, evading tax amount more than $10,000 also are not acceptable. Involvement in any smuggling activity, passport fraud offenses, any offense for which was imprisoned for more than a year, any activity leading to obstruction of any legal process, tampering witnesses etc are considered wrong doings and doesn’t prove good moral character.
  •  A person who is a drunkard or practices polygamy, providing wrong documents with false information also cannot apply for US citizenship. Applicants go through thorough background checks and also drug testing is done on them as part of the naturalization application process.
  • As a male applicant in the age group of 18 to 25 years and if you have not registered in US selective service program also is not acceptable.

Therefore, not having a criminal record in itself proves your good moral character. Showing tax returns papers, letters from neighbors or employer about you character to USCIS can be used as proof. Not letting know that you were ticketed for speedy driving may prove costly and lead to rejection of your naturalization application N-400 form. Minor issues like getting a speeding ticket should be told to the USCIS. Dishonestly could lead to denial of US citizenship.

With increase in nation security threatening incidents and terrorist attacks proving your character is most important as an alien who is applying for US citizenship.

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