The Stokes Interview

The Stokes Interview

The Stokes interview, also known as the marriage fraud interview, is a type of interview that is conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for couples who are applying for a marriage-based green card. The purpose of the interview is to determine the legitimacy of the marriage and whether it was entered into for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits. 

 

Here's a more detailed description of the Stokes interview:

  1. Purpose: The Stokes interview is intended to ensure that the marriage between the petitioner and beneficiary is bona fide and not a sham marriage entered into for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits.

  2. Triggers: Usually the Stokes interview is conducted if there are some serious doubts about the marriage bona fides or if the the couple marry after the removal (deportation) proceedings have started.

  3. Process: During the Stokes interview, the couple will be separated and each partner will be interviewed separately by a USCIS officer. The officer will ask a series of questions about their relationship, including how they met, details about their wedding, living arrangements, shared activities and experiences, and plans for the future.

  4. Evidence: In addition to the interview questions, the USCIS officer may request additional evidence to support the legitimacy of the marriage, such as joint bank account statements, lease agreements, utility bills, and photos of the couple together. If the USCIS officer has concerns about the legitimacy of the marriage, they may also conduct additional investigations and interviews with friends and family members.

  5. Outcome: After the interview and review of all evidence, the USCIS officer will determine whether the marriage is bona fide or not. If the USCIS officer determines that the marriage is bona fide, the green card application will be approved. If the USCIS officer determines that the marriage is not bona fide, the green card application will be denied.

  6. Appeal: If the green card application is denied, the couple may have the option to appeal the decision and provide additional evidence to support the legitimacy of their marriage.

Overall, the Stokes interview is a critical part of the marriage-based green card application process. It's important for couples to be prepared and provide sufficient evidence to support the legitimacy of their marriage relationship.

It is strongly recommended that the couple is represented during the Stokes interview by an immigration attorney - the consequences of failing the Stokes interview can be disastrous and often prevent an immigrant from legalizing his or her status in the United States.

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