How moral turpitude crimes can affect your path to citizenship

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Immigration |

You may face hurdles along the path toward citizenship or naturalization. Among these challenges, you need to ensure that your record remains clear of certain offenses known as Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude.

But what exactly does this term mean, and how can these crimes affect your ability to become a U.S. citizen?

The nature of crimes involving moral turpitude

Crimes involving moral turpitude refer to actions that are inherently base, vile or depraved, and contrary to the accepted rules of morality and duties owed between people or to society in general. They typically include offenses that involve dishonesty, fraud or antisocial behavior that harms others, and may range from petty theft to murder.

A conviction for a CIMT can create severe complications in the process of acquiring citizenship or naturalization.

Effects on the citizenship/naturalization process

If you commit a CIMT within five years of your admission to the United States, it can lead to deportation. Even if deportation does not occur, a CIMT can affect your eligibility for citizenship.

The importance of good moral character

One of the key requirements for naturalization is demonstrating good moral character. A CIMT can be evidence of a lack of good moral character, affecting your chances of becoming a citizen.

The waiver possibility

Under some circumstances, you may apply for a waiver for a CIMT. However, obtaining a waiver is not guaranteed and depends on various factors, including the nature of the crime, when it occurred and your behavior since the conviction.

Crimes involving moral turpitude can significantly impact your citizenship or naturalization process. Understanding the implications of these crimes can help you navigate the path to citizenship more effectively.