Florida residents who are U.S. citizens but who are married to people from other countries often seek green cards for their immigrant spouses. Although marriage is a legitimate reason to approve a green card, immigration authorities will try to detect sham marriages entered into solely for the purpose of immigration. Immigration officials want to see proof that a marriage is genuine. If they develop suspicions about the validity of a marriage, then they send the married couple to a marriage fraud interview. This interview grants the couple a second opportunity to convince authorities that they have entered into a real marital relationship.
The marriage fraud interview may also be called a Stokes interview. On the day of the interview, the couple can expect the process to last for hours. An immigration officer will interview the spouses together and separately in an attempt to uncover evidence of deception. Spouses should arm themselves with substantial documentation to illustrate the existence of their married life. In addition to identification, spouses will need a marriage certificate, proof of employment, rent receipts, utility bills, bank statements and even photo albums. The necessary documents could vary on a case-by-case basis.
Spouses can expect to field very personal questions. These could include inquiries about birth control choices, favorite foods, sleeping habits and how they met. Questions will also dig for details about marital housing that could confirm whether or not the people actually live together. An immigration officer might ask about bedrooms, windows, number of bathrooms and when garbage is collected.
Legal advice might help a person prepare for an interview of hearing with immigration authorities. An attorney may describe current rights for green card applicants and assist with someone’s efforts to assemble thorough documentation.