Explained by Our New York City Immigration Lawyer
A Stokes Interview is essentially the second interview you have with an immigration officer on your own, after you and your spouse have gone through the first interview together for your or your spouse's Green Card application. This second interview is required when there is suspicion on the part of your INS officer that the marriage is not a legitimate one, i.e. that it was entered into specifically for securing permanent resident status for one of the parties. The name of the interview comes from a case against the INS in the mid-1970s, but it is sometimes also referred to as a "marriage fraud interview." After the Stokes Interview, the immigration officer will meet with you and your spouse again (third interview).
You can have your New York City immigration attorney present at a Stokes Interview. While you cannot and should not be "coached," your attorney can help you understand the process and gain clarity so that you can be confident about your answers. The point is to be clear about the facts of your marriage that support its day-to-day reality and closeness. Small details like how your marital/family home is set up, personal habits, shared responsibilities, and interactions with friends and family members are all key to helping the immigration authorities assess the nature of your marriage.
Robert Maher has provided guidance to clients on all their immigration interviews as part of his service to those who engage him for permanent residency status for spouses and other family members. He has taken many clients through Stokes Interviews and can be there to support you at yours.
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