Contempt & Incarceration

Good Moral Character

  • Applicants for many types of immigration benefits and relief from deportation must affirmatively demonstrate “good moral character.”
  • Any period of past incarceration may make it difficult for an immigrant to make this “good moral character” showing.

Naturalization Application

  • One of the immigration benefits that requires “good moral character” is naturalization.
  • Applicants are explicitly asked about past incarceration.
  • If a person answers YES, they must report the reason for their incarceration and the disposition of their case.
  • Question: Have you EVER been in jail or prison?