When you married a U.S. citizen, you likely had hopes for your future in Kentucky, perhaps including raising a family or maybe starting a business of your own after you and your spouse settle into your new lifestyle. Many immigrants say that although they're happy to have met the love of their life, they often live in fear, worried that a legal status problem is going to arise when they least expect it.
If your paperwork is in good order and you followed all required steps for entering the United States, chances are that things will be fine. However, if government officials suspect that you married your spouse simply as a means to try to beat the system and gain entry to the U.S., your future might include a Stokes interview, which can be a highly stressful experience. Understanding your rights and knowing where to seek support is key to obtaining a successful outcome.
Fraud is not something the U.S. government takes lightly
If Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials request your presence at a Stokes interview, you are tasked with the burden of proving that your marriage is legitimate. The following list provides information regarding what to expect at an immigration marriage interview and how you can prepare a strong case to convince officials to allow you remain in the United States:
- This is definitely a time when you want to make a good impression on your interviewer. The way you dress, arriving promptly for your interview and the manner in which you conduct yourself during your interview are all important factors.
- You've likely noticed that American customs are different from those in your country of origin. When speaking to someone in the U.S., it is considered impolite to avoid eye contact, which means if you want to make a good impression on your interviewer, you should look him or her directly in the eye when engaging in conversation.
- A Stokes interview typically includes highly personal questions that you should be prepared to answer as accurately as possible.
- Your interviewer might ask you to describe your bedroom or to talk about your first date with your spouse.
- You may have to prove that you and your spouse reside in the same house.
The purpose of a marriage interview is to give you and your spouse an opportunity to prove that your marriage is not fraudulent. The more evidence you can show, the better. This includes photographs, greeting cards or other personal correspondence you and your spouse have exchanged that would demonstrate that your relationship is authentic. Many Kentucky immigrants meet with experienced immigration law attorneys before attending their Stokes interviews.