If you are looking to become a U.S. citizen, one of the requirements of
naturalization is proof of good moral character. A person with
good moral character must show that he or she has not had any criminal history, and has established
good relationships with the community. There are many ways this can be
refuted, but proving good moral character can sometimes be more difficult.
One of the best ways to prove good character is to gather letters in your favor.
About "Good Moral Character" & US Immigration
According to immigration, good moral character does not have a singular
definition and is more easily defined by what it is not. The purpose of
this requirement of the naturalization process is to ensure that new U.S.
citizens have the same upstanding moral character of the average citizen.
A person of "good moral character" must not have any criminal
history or trouble with the law. This includes any accounts of fraud,
smuggling, drug crimes, and so on. Minor slip ups, like traffic tickets
or long-ago arrests, are not usually severe enough to warrant a refusal
on grounds of good moral character. However, more serious offenses or
violent crimes committed either before or during the statutory period
before filing for citizenship could count against moral character.
The standard time period examined for good moral character varies between
3 and 5 years. Time frames are often shorter for service members or spouses
of U.S. citizens. The applicant must also have followed all guidelines
regarding his or her entrance and establishment in the U.S., including
lawful work permits, obtaining a green card, and so on.
What Is a Letter of Good Moral Character?
In order to establish good moral character, most people going through the
naturalization process ask American citizens they know to write letters
to recommend them. These letters may come from an employer, community
group leader, religious leader, or neighbor. An account of your good moral
character from an established, respected citizen of the United States
could go a long way to help support your naturalization process.