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How To Prepare For Your U.S. Citizenship Civics Test

Removable Offenses and Permanent Bars to Good Moral Character

Being in the United States for both citizens and non-citizens means having to exist by the Federal, State, and Local laws that are in place and dealing with the consequences when they break those laws. However, non-citizens, alongside the normal consequences for breaking the law, may run the risk of being permanently barred from establishing Good Moral Character (GMC) for Naturalization as well as be put up for removal based on the severity of the offense. While something as minor as a traffic ticket may not impose any restrictions on immigration, other more serious offenses can be used as immediate grounds for removal. Here are some of the offenses that are considered grounds for removal and bars for establishing GMC by the federal government:


According to USCIS, immigration applicants who are convicted of murder are permanently barred from establishing GMC and are considered removable by federal law.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude and Aggravated Felonies

A crime of Moral Turpitude is considered any criminal offense, committed willingly, that is viewed by society as evil and in no way justifiable, and done with reckless or evil intent. These may involve crimes against another person (e.g., murder), property (e.g., arson), sex and family crimes (e.g., domestic violence), or crimes against government authority (e.g., counterfeiting).

In the context of immigration, the Federal Government has created a list of felonies that are considered Aggravated Felonies which are grounds for removal and may be permanent bars to establish GMC. Some felonies that are considered aggravated felonies are:

  • Trafficking of Controlled Substances
  • Trafficking of Firearms
  • Human Trafficking
  • Crimes of theft or violence resulting in a prison sentence of at least 1 year
  • Document Fraud
  • Failure to Appear to Court

Persecution, Genocide, Torture, or Severe Violations of Religious Freedom

Any individual who is found to have participated in the atrocities committed by the Nazi Government of Germany, participated in a Genocide, carried out torture or extra judicial killings, or was responsible for the violation of religious and personal freedoms of another individual, are no longer eligible for GMC and are eligible for removal.

Reach Out to Learn More About Removable Offenses

It is important to note that each case is unique and there are many factors that go into being eligible for immigration status. If you have any questions or concerns about your own eligibility, you should contact an attorney and seek legal advice as soon as possible. The immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Oak Brook, Illinois can help you with your immigration case. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us.

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