Crime of Morale Turpitude and how it may Affect your Immigration Status

Posted by Ramona Kennedy | Jan 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

For a foreign national who dreams of coming to the United States, it is imperative that he or she shows good moral character. This means that he or she is never in trouble with law enforcement, especially when it comes to crimes of Moral Turpitude. Doing so may prevent the applicant from being granted a US visa.

For a foreign national already in the United States with a temporary visa, it's equally important to maintain a good “Moral Character”. Failing to do so may cause the foreign national to have his or her visa cancelled and be removed from the United States.

While it is important for the foreign national to obey all laws, there is a difference between breaking a minor law such as speeding laws and something much more severe such as a felony crime. While most often a crimes that are considered Crimes of Morale Turpitude are felonies, misdemeanors may also be viewed as Crimes of Moral Turpitude. Such crimes that would fall into this criteria include but are not limited to sexual assault, robbery, burglary, kidnap, or assault, to list a few.

The United States government takes accusations of crimes of moral turpitude very seriously. So much so that a conviction of such a crime may cause an applicant to be denied a visa to enter the USA. If a foreign national in the United States commits a crime of moral turpitude, that person may very well be removed from the United States. In some cases, being charged with such a crime may make it really difficult for a person applying for a visa to be granted the visa.

The United States is more likely to approve the visa of an applicant that can show that he or she has a “good moral character”. Being convicted of a crime of morale turpitude may negate any chance that the applicant has to show that he or she has good moral character. Even if the applicant has shown that since the crime, he or she has lived a morally sound life.

There isn't technically a crime entitled “Crime of Moral Turpitude”. It's used more as a catch all for some of the most the most heinous types of crimes. It's used more as an expression to show how serious and evil the crime being committed really is. This goes for both Felonies and Misdemeanors.

In short, a Crime of Morale Turpitude is a crime that a judge would look at and describe it as an act so wrong, so vile, so evil, that it deserved being described as such. There is no law section for committing a Crime of Morale Turpitude, however this title may be linked to any crime that a judge may deem worthy of its name. The crime would most likely be a Felony, however it can also be linked to a Misdemeanor. Committing an act of Moral Turpitude may prevent an applicant from receiving a visa, or in the case of an immigrant already in the USA, it may cause the immigrant to be removed from the country.

This is an immigration legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advice. For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.

Ramona Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate in America and is a licensed attorney in California (USA). Ramona Kennedy is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ramona Kennedy is fluent in English and Farsi (reading & writing) & speaks Azeri Turkish.

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About the Author

Ramona Kennedy

Attorney Ramona Kennedy is a Compassionate attorney who cares and will fight for you A vivid reader, attorney Kennedy was inspired by her father who passionately attributed to her academic & personal growth. Her Father was a very kind, highly intelligent, disciplined & dedicated family man in un...


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