Prove marriage authenticity at an immigration interview

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | US Immigration Law |

When a marriage takes place between a U.S. citizen and a person who has emigrated from another country of origin to Florida, challenges can arise as the newly married couple adapts to their new lifestyle. If the immigrant spouse has a language barrier, for instance, communication with each other, as well as friends and family, may be difficult. Most couples expect these day-to-day issues, however, and look forward to growing together and helping each other overcome obstacles. Some challenges are more serious than others, such as if immigration officials send a notice to appear for a Stokes interview.

A Stokes interview occurs when U.S. immigration officials suspect that a U.S. citizen has married an immigrant to help him or her get a green card or for personal financial gain. There may be other possible reasons as well. However, if a couple receives a notice to appear, they must be prepared to prove that their marriage is authentic.

Evidence of authenticity at an immigration interview

Answering questions at a Stokes interview can be stressful. Immigration officials typically separate spouses to question each of them and compare their answers. Questions often pertain to intimate or personal issues, such as what color bed sheets are used or how many times per week a spouse takes a shower. In addition to answering questions, spouses can provide evidence that establishes their history together as a couple. This evidence might include photo albums with pictures from various events and periods throughout the relationship, bank statements with both names on them, cards or letters that spouses have written to each other, and other items that demonstrate the authenticity of the marriage.

The results of the interview may affect the immigrant spouse’s status

If the official asking questions at an immigration interview doubts the legitimacy of a spouse’s answers or determines that the couple has not presented enough evidence to prove that their marriage is authentic, the case will be flagged for further investigation. The penalties for attempting to defraud the U.S. Government are severe and may include deportation for the non-citizen spouse. It is always best to seek legal counsel before attending a Stokes interview.


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