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You got married. Now officials want you to prove it's legitimate

Adapting to life in Texas as an immigrant can be quite challenging. If you married a U.S. citizen, your spouse is likely helping you master the English language, become accustomed to new foods and traditions and otherwise embrace your new culture as you build your life together. Every immigrant encounters challenging situations at some point; the ability to rise above and succeed in achieving ultimate goals often lies in type of support system you have in place.  

What if problems arise that are far more serious that the typical everyday challenges of adapting to a new lifestyle? For instance, what do you do if federal officials suspect that your marriage is fraudulent? If so, you can expect to receive a notification by postal mail that instructs you to appear at a Stokes interview. How well you prepare and how well you answer the questions at the interview may determine whether you can stay in the U.S. and apply for a green card.  

What will they ask? 

If you attend a Stokes interview, it means you will have to prove to U.S. immigration officials that your marriage is legitimate and that you weren't trying to beat the system just to secure a permanent resident status. The following questions are examples of what your interviewer may want to know:  

  • How many entrances there are in your home
  • The usual time your spouse goes to bed at night
  • The name of your spouse's employer, if he or she has one
  • Your spouse's favorite food, movie, color or song
  • Name of your landlord, if you have one
  • What company provides your internet service
  • How often your spouse gets paid and whether it is salary or by the hour
  • Who made dinner the dinner before and what it was
  • What color the walls in your bedroom are 

This is only a small sampling of the many different personal questions your Stokes interviewer might ask you. Your spouse will be in another room when you answer. Your spouse will also have to answer the same questions. Your interviewer will then check to see whether your answers match. If they do, you may simply be asked to provide a bit more evidence that your relationship is authentic, such as family pictures or correspondence between you and your spouse, perhaps birthday cards or notes.  

If you fail the interview 

It is possible that U.S. immigration officers would take you into immediate custody if your Stokes interviewer says you failed the test. It also possible that you would be forced to leave the United States. Many Texas immigrants have been able to avoid removal and have succeeded in passing Stokes interviews because they relied on support ahead of time from experienced immigration law advocates.

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Houston, TX 77027

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