Getting married is often a joyful and exciting time in a couple's relationship. Marriage is a major step toward a lifelong commitment, which couples often mark with special ceremonies and celebrations. If you arrived in Colorado from another country to marry a U.S. citizen, your excitement may be mixed with stress and anxiety.
While anxiety is not uncommon before a marriage, immigrants to the United States may have their stress amplified. If immigration officials suspect your marriage is actually a plan to get a green card, you are likely to have problems that other couples may not encounter. To check the validity of your union, immigration officers may request your presence at a Stokes interview.
A bad impression may lead to deportation
If officials think your marriage is a fraud, they can arrange for your removal from the United States. To avoid such an outcome, it is important to know your rights, how to prepare for a Stokes meeting, and where to seek support if a problem arises.
The following information might help you increase your chances of a favorable interview:
- Immigration officials make Stokes interview decisions on an individual basis. What you say and do will impact the outcome of your situation.
- Officials will likely require you to bring certain documents with you to a Stokes interview. Such documents may help you prove that your marriage is authentic.
- The more evidence you can show that you and your spouse have entered an authentic union, the better. Documents that can help you prove marriage validity include telephone or electric bills, your marriage license, your passport, tax information and bank account statements.
- Certain personal items may also serve as evidence of a valid marriage, such as photo albums or family videos that show you and your spouse sharing past events together.
- You and your spouse may be in the same room for part of a Stokes interview. You should also expect that officials will interview you both separately at some point.
- If there is a language barrier, you may bring a translator with you to your Stokes interview.
The purpose of separating you from your spouse during a Stokes interview process is to check for similarities (or discrepancies) in answers to basic questions, such as what color your bedroom is or the name of your favorite restaurant to visit as a couple. If interviewers are not satisfied that your answers or if other evidence suggests that your marriage is fraudulent, you may face immediate and serious legal problems.
Get Help With Your Stokes Interview
A Stokes interview can be quite stressful. To help ease such stress, many Colorado couples seek guidance and support from experienced immigration law attorneys ahead of time.