Part of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), I-360 Application, is the Good Moral Character (GMC) requirement. In order to satisfy this requirement, the applicant must show that they have been a person of good moral character for the duration of the 3-year period immediately preceding the filing of your application. The I-360 instructions specifically states, “If you are 14 years of age or older, your affidavit of good moral character accompanied by a local police clearance, state-issued criminal background check, or similar report from each locality or state in the United States or abroad where you have resided for six or more months during the 3-year period immediately before the filing of your self-petition” is necessary to satisfy this requirement.
https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/i-360instr.pdf. But aside from the police clearance and self-written affidavit, what other evidence can you submit that attests to your good moral character?
The answer to this question is simple, ANYTHING! Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, almost anything a reasonable person can think of, that would show they do not have a criminal history, that they have been an upstanding member of their community, or that they have been making a positive impact in the United States can be used to show good moral character.
For instance, one can provide things such as the following:
– Letters of support from friends, family, co-workers, clients, landlord, etc.
– Drivers License history/driving record from local DMV
– School diplomas, certificates, awards, etc. from high school, college or specialty program
– English class completion certificate
– Social media posts, news articles, tv news interviews, etc. about the applicant and something exemplary they have done or been involved in (if applicable)
– FBI Rap Sheet and Name Clearance
– Evidence of volunteer work or community involvement with local charities or church organizations
– Evidence of donations made to charitable organizations
Often times, especially in VAWA cases, the applicant (the victim of the abuse) is the one that has a domestic violence (DV) arrest or conviction that must be dealt with in the I-360 application. This can potentially be problematic, as it is something that USCIS will consider a “red flag” unless it is properly explained by the evidence submitted with the application. In order to overcome this, an applicant can submit things such as the following:
– Police report and officer notes/interview notes
– Certified conviction records for the offense
– Any court documents related to the offense
– Applicable case law and excerpts of law related to the offense
It is interesting to note that, when properly documented, even though the abuse victim has a record or DV arrest, USCIS will likely make the initial determination that the “battery and/or extreme cruelty” classification portion of the application has been met. This means that one of the major initial requirements to qualify for the VAWA I-360 relief, has been proven and that it is the other application requirements that must be explored. This is a huge win for the applicant. The burden then shifts back to the applicant to prove that they are not a criminal (have no other criminal history) and that they deserve the relief they are requesting, i.e. that they are a person of Good Moral Character.
If you or someone you know finds themselves in a situation similar to this, reach out to Franco Law Firm, P.A.
We handle a wide variety of immigration matters, from detention and removal cases to complex adjustment and USCIS issues.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your immigration case.
Franco Law Firm, P.A.
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