In our previous blog, we discussed the basics of the Stokes interview—what it is, why one gets selected for it, and what you should bring if you’re selected for one. In today’s post, immigration law firm The Costas Network Law Center continues with a look at the interview process.
A typical Stokes interview can take several hours, as the couple will be interviewed separately and together. At the beginning of the interview, the immigration officer will discuss why the initial interview didn’t go well, go over the process, then conduct solo interviews. Each spouse will be asked the same set of questions, many of which will be very personal, perhaps even invasive in nature. All the answers will be recorded.
After the individual interviews, the answers will be compared and discrepancies will be noted. The couple will be brought in together and will be asked to explain discrepancies. Ultimately, the goal is to convince the immigration officer that the marriage is, indeed, a bona fide one. If the immigration officer has reason to believe that the goal of the marriage is to obtain a green card, the case may be denied.
If you are selected for the Stokes interview, passing it rarely needs coaching from an immigration attorney. All you need to do is be honest and straightforward with your answers. There is no fixed list of questions but they’re a mix of the following categories:
Your shared home — These are questions that ask for details about the house and your daily activities. Many of the topics sound mundane, like how many bedrooms does your home have, who does the household cleaning, what brand of toothpaste you use, or what kind of window treatments does your home have.
Your relationship — These questions are more personal in nature but shouldn’t be a problem for most married couples. Some of these questions would be where you met, what did you do on your first date, and what music you listen to.
Your finances — These are questions that will determine how much financial information is shared between you and your spouse. The questions may include the name of your bank, the balances on your bank accounts if you have life insurance, and how you pay your bills.
As described above, the answers to these questions will be compared by the immigration officer before calling you and your spouse for the last interview.
Need to consult an immigration lawyer? Call The Costas Network Law Center Call (216) 616-3103 (Ohio) or (346) 818-2726 (Texas) for a free initial phone consultation. You can also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.