This area often presents the most unique problems for applicants. An applicant must have demonstrated good moral character for the required period before filing for naturalization. That statutory period is usually five years. For spouses of U.S. citizens and those who obtained green cards through the Violence Against Women Act, the period is three years.
An applicant's good moral character may be questioned if Immigration believes that the applicant willfully failed to provide for his or her dependents. The key word is "willfully." An applicant should obtain an affidavit from the other parent saying they tried to comply with a child support order or other evidence that demonstrates their efforts. For example, applicants who lost their job should provide proof of unemployment.
Certain crimes may suggest that the person lacks good moral character, especially if the crime is a deportable offense. If the applicant has a criminal conviction, an experienced immigration attorney should submit a written analysis of why the applicant is nevertheless eligible. This is one time an immigration lawyer is most definitely a must.
Not Hiring An Attorney
Many of these issues can be resolved even where applicants have failed to meet their obligations in the past. The right evidence, presented by an experienced lawyer, can have an applicant pledging allegiance in no time. Although the author is a Board-certified immigration expert, this guide is intended as general information and not specific legal advice. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. Schedule a consultation with an attorney to address individual concerns
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