U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently clarified that violating the federal controlled substance law, including violations involving marijuana, will make it difficult to establish a good moral character for the naturalization process. Marijuana can create other immigration difficulties as well.
Founding partner Sophie Alcorn wrote about cannabis and immigration law last year. Even if the marijuana-related activity occurs in a state or country where marijuana is legal, it remains illegal under U.S. federal law. Federal law classifies marijuana as a controlled substance.
Because immigration law is enforced at the federal level, USCIS considers any marijuana-related activity illegal. That means the manufacture, possession, distribution, and use of marijuana for either medical or recreational purposes is illegal. And your involvement in this activity may impact your chances for a visa, green card or citizenship.
Good moral character is one of the requirements for citizenship through naturalization. When applying for naturalization, you must show that you have and continue to be a person of good moral character.
Moreover, applying for a visa or green card involves proving that you are “admissible” to the United States. Participating in cannabis-related activity can be a reason to be found “inadmissible”.
If you have already engaged in any marijuana-related activity and are pursuing or planning to pursue a visa, green card or naturalization, contact us. The Alcorn Immigration Law team can evaluate your options.