Ep. 43 What to expect at the Stokes Immigration Interview?

  • Before an important benefit is given to a foreign national due to marriage to a US citizen, it is the USCS’s responsibility to make sure that the marriage is real.
  • A stokes interview is where the couple will be interviewed for the second time but this time separately. This is done when the couple fails to convince the USCS that the marriage is real on the first interview. A step in which is more complicated and better to be avoided.

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: Hello everybody, this is Jacob Sapochnick – another episode of Ask An Immigration Lawyer. You ask, we answer, simple. This is a podcast where you send email us questions on Facebook page – even directly – or we get them for our chats.

Today’s question is coming from Jenny in Phoenix, Arizona.

The question is why do immigration officer separate couples at a marriage interview and what is a stokes interview also known as a second interview? That’s a good question.

As you know when a US citizen marries a foreign national, the end result is a green card, a conditional green card. Before such an important benefit is given to a foreign national, the USCS must ensure that it’s a real, bonafied marriage. The only way to verify that is if they do an interview and make sure that they meet the couple and have all the information they need.

Sometimes the first interview – after they ask questions and they look at the documents – they’re not satisfied with the information and so they have to conduct a second interview. They call this a stokes interview. And this interview – it’s pretty intense, and most people definitely would like to avoid that if possible so you have to prepare.

At a stokes interview, second interview, the husband will be separated from the wife and question separately. The answers given by the couple will be compared and any inconsistencies will result in denial or intend to deny the application unless explained correctly.

And so the only way to really avoid this result is to really be prepared. In the second interview they really want to know in detail whether this is a real marriage. Where the couple [unclear 00:01:48] they’ll ask describe a full day in a life and compare the answers very detailed. They ask questions about family members on both sides.

It’s very important to understand that if you end up in the second interview – for whatever reason – come with an attorney and make sure that if you don’t know the answer just say you don’t know. Never invent anything and never let yourself get into a situation where they may accuse you of fraud.

So, that’s kind of in a nutshell what happens in the second interview. They really want to dive in more into the relationship and find out by separation whether this is a real or not real marriage.

So, if you have any other questions just email me jacob@askanimmigrationlawyer or leave us a comment on our Facebook page.

We welcome your comments, and we’ll see you at our next episode. You ask, we answer, simple. Thanks a lot. This is Jacob here.

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