Although the USCIS is not overly specific as to what “good character” is, they are very specific as to what it is not. Accordingly, the following conditions are considered disqualifiers when it comes to naturalization eligibility:
- A person who has been convicted of murder is ineligible for the duration of their lifetime
- A person who has been found guilty of an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act is similarly ineligible
Note that involvement, aiding, abetting or participating in genocidal, Nazi activities, extrajudicial killings, torture and certain extreme acts involving religious freedoms are also grounds for lifetime ineligibility.
In addition to the crimes mentioned above, an applicant will not be considered of good moral character if – in the past five years – he or she:
- Has been convicted of drug trafficking (exception for less than 30 gram of marijuana)
- Has been associated with criminal vices such as prostitution
- Is a male applicant and did not register with Selective Service
- Has been or is a chronic alcoholic
- Has failed to provide child support
- Has been or is practicing polygamy
- Has provided false testimony under oath in order to achieve status under the Immigration and Naturalization Act
- Exhibits that their main source of income is from gambling and/or has been convicted of two or more gambling offenses
- Has been confined to a correctional facility for a period of 6 months or more during their specified statutory period
- Has been convicted to smuggling foreign nationals into the country
As of April 2019, use of marijuana whether or not it’s legal in your state may be used against you to establish good moral character. See this post for details.