Many Louisiana households include family members from different ethnic or racial backgrounds. If you or your spouse immigrated to the United States from another country of origin, you may both have encountered challenges as you adapted to a married lifestyle. Such challenges might have included a language barrier or differences in culture and family customs.
Getting to know one another and settling into married life can be a rewarding and joyful experience. If immigration problems arise, however, such as receiving notice to appear at a Stokes interview, it can cause distress for both spouses. Before attending an immigration interview, it is a good idea to learn more about what to expect, such as the purpose of a Stokes interview and what types of questions your interviewer might ask.
Stokes interviews are used to discover immigration fraud
If the court requires you and your spouse to appear at a Stokes interview, it means that they have flagged your case, possibly for suspected immigration fraud. During the interview, immigration officials will ask you and your spouse a series of questions to try to determine if your marriage is authentic or if deportation of the spouse who has emigrated from another country is a recommendation.
Your future together as spouses may hinge on having a successful immigration interview. Some people hire others to marry them or make fraudulent arrangements for marriage so that someone from another country can qualify for a green card. At a Stokes interview, you must convince immigration officials that you are not one of these people.
Immigration officials will ask you highly personal questions
When you arrive at a Stokes interview, immigration officials will question you and your spouse in separate interview areas. This is so the two of you cannot hear each other’s responses to the questions. When questioning is finished, officials will compare your answers to your spouse’s, to check if they are compatible.
There is no way to know ahead of time what exact questions you will have to answer. However, it’s not uncommon for interviewers to ask questions about intimate matters, such as whether your spouse snores while sleeping or what color your bed sheets are. They might also ask who was at your wedding or where you were when you shared your first kiss.
What to do if you don’t know the answer to a question
It is never a good idea to fake an answer for a Stokes interview or to lie to immigration officials. If you are suspected of marriage fraud, this will only make matters worse. If you don’t know the answer to a specific question, it’s best to admit that you don’t know or can’t recall the details.
Failing a Stokes interview might mean that you or your spouse (whichever one immigrated to Louisiana from another country) might be at risk for removal. An immigration interview and questioning for suspected fraud is a serious matter. However, you can learn as much as you can about the system and how to prepare for your meeting by reaching out for counsel from someone who is well-versed in U.S. immigration laws, ahead of time.