When you made plans to marry the love of your life in the U.S., you may have had mixed feelings about your future. While moving to Georgia, obtaining a green card and building a new life with your special someone may have felt like a dream come true, you may also worry about legal issues that could delay your application or halt your plans.
If U.S. immigration officials have called you to a Stokes interview, it means that the federal government suspects that your marriage is not legitimate — that you may have married simply to gain legal permanent residency in the United States. The outcome of your Stokes interview will determine whether you get a green card; in fact, it may also affect your ability to stay in the U.S.
Be as prepared as possible
If you were to take a random survey on the street, asking anyone who is married to answer personal questions about his or her spouse, what do you suppose the rate of accuracy in the answers would be? The following list contains some examples of questions interviewers may ask during Stokes interviews:
- Your spouse’s typical bedtime
- What items are hanging on the wall in your bedroom
- Where you went on your first date
- How soon after your first date you decided to get married
- What the name of your husband’s mother is
- What birthmarks your spouse has on his or her body
- How long you have owned your current vehicle
- The name of your internet provider
Even an unmarried person might not remember the exact number of garbage cans in his or her house or what color sheets happen to be on the bed at a particular time. The critical factor in a Stokes interview is whether your answers match the answers your spouse gives.
Since officials are likely to separate you and your spouse for part of the interview, you’ll have no way of knowing what your spouse is saying, which is why it’s so important to know what to expect.
If a problem arises
It is quite possible your interviewer will be convinced that your marriage is valid based on your ability to answer questions correctly, as well as your presentation of documents and personal evidence such as a photo album that shows the lineage of your relationship with your spouse.
However, that doesn’t mean you can neglect to prepare for your interview. Many Georgia immigrants meet with experienced immigration law attorneys before attending their Stokes interviews to make sure they are ready for the process and the questions they may be asked.