When spouses come to the USCIS local office to attend the marriage-based green card interview, the interview can result in two ways.

The first one is when spouses pass it, after which the immigrant gets a permanent residence.

The second one is getting a notice for the clarification at the Stokes interview.

The Stokes Interview is a second chance for the couple to convince the USCIS officer of their marriage’s authenticity. Usually, it is scheduled when the immigration officer has some doubts after holding the initial status interview. That is why the Stokes interview is also called the marriage fraud interview.

The USCIS officer’s suspicion that the marriage is fraudulent and conducted to misuse the marriage-based green card process can be dismissed during this second meeting.

Some of the most usual reasons why people get the Stokes interview notice are:

At the beginning of the interview, spouses are informed about why they are called for the investigation.

– Something that has been said or stated in the documents is causing suspicion,
– Immigrant officer is not convinced in the authenticity of the marriage,
– Lack of communication in the same language between spouses,
– Lack of joint finances,
– Big age difference, unimprovable cultural and religious differences, incompatible lifestyle and morals,
– Contradictory answers at the first interview,
– Getting married after being informed about the removal of the immigrant spouse etc.

The interview is held four to six weeks after the initial one. Like this interview, the list of the documents that should be brought contains identification paperwork, original documents stated in the applicant, and the copies. These additional documents provide proof of marriage authenticity, financial documents, shared photos, etc.

The interview can last up to eight hours, since the spouses are being separated and questioned individually, one at a time. Spouses get the same questions, and their answers are recorded and compared afterward. If there is a significant lack of compatibility between their answers, they are brought together to explain this inconsistency. Even the minor mistakes are getting counted, and if there are too many different answers, it will lead to the interview failing.

Immigration officers will use intimidating questioning styles to determine fraudulent marriages. However, if the marriage is real, there are no reasons to fear the questioning at the second interview. It may be hard to stay confident in this situation, but a lack of confidence raises the officer’s suspicion and tension. Questions that the immigration officer asks concern relationship history, family, shared living, and finances. They usually go deep into the intimate and personal details about the couple’s marriage bond and daily activities.

If the immigration officer is not satisfied and convinced after the Stokes interview about the bonafide marriage, he or she will deny the approval of a marriage-based green card. That can lead to removal proceedings against the immigrant spouse.

The Stokes interviews are very stressful and complexed, even for the couples who have been together for years. That is why the couple should take the preparation for this meeting seriously, preferably with the immigration lawyer’s professional help.

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