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What is a stokes interview?

When U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents apply for lawful permanent residence (green card) for a spouse the couple needs to prove that their marriage was entered into in good faith or is genuine. Proof of a bona fide marriage or a good faith marriage includes joint ownership or lease of property, joint financial assets, joint responsibility for financial debts/taxes, and proof of a relationship and shared activities. When a couple applies for a green card together they must submit evidence of their good faith marriage. After applying through Form I-130 and form I-485, the couple receives an interview with an immigration officer. During the interview the officer will inspect the evidence that the couple submitted about their marriage. The officer will also ask questions about how they met, when they met, where they live, and about their assets and finances. The best way to prepare for this first interview is to be yourself, stay calm, and just answer questions genuinely and honestly.

In some instances officers will require the couple to return for a second interview referred to as a “Stokes Interview.” A Stokes Interview is a specific type of interview that is done when an officer believes that the marriage is fraudulent or may have been entered into solely for a green card. Officers might also call for a Stokes interview if the couple has inconsistencies in their story or relationship. During a Stokes interview the officer has to follow a very specific protocol, but typically it involves separating the couple and asking very detailed questions while one spouse is not in the room. The officer will also take a sworn statement. If your marriage is authentic you really should not worry about a Stokes interview, but it is very important to have an attorney present. An attorney can determine if the questions are beyond the scope of the application or are inappropriate. Seek out assistance from Kasturi Law, LLC at 6303928101 if you are facing a second interview and or interested in filing for adjustment of status.

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