All marriages are preseumed fraudulent. The burden of proof is on the petitioner to demonstrate to the immigration officer that the marriage is legal and bona fide. Meaning that the marraige was not entered into to get a green card. In New York, like many places across the United States, at the I-130 interview, if the marriage fraud is suspect, the couple may be separated and a inquiry of harsh questions can follow. The same set of questions are asked to each person. If the other person answers differently, that is an inconsistency and may have negative consquences on the successful outcome of the interview.
Preparing for the Stokes Interview
If an officer suspects fraud, in New York, the case is referred to the Stokes Floor at 26 Federal Plaza. No federal definition exists on what a marriage should be or should not be. The couple needs to remember events that may have happened a long time ago, such as when and where they met, who they were with. The questions are suppose to be everything that a couple would know about each other.
Language and Culture Differences
Sometimes interpreters and cultural differences can make a difference. Sometimes language and sophistication of the couple is also at play. An experienced immigration attorney will carefully prepare you for this type of interview by going through a list of questions such as what color is the floor in your bathroom? Where do your children sleep? Are your blinds vertical or horizontal in your bedroom? Where is your fridge if you are facing your stove? These are questions if the paper record is not complete or a person is placed into removal proceedings and gets married to a United States Citizen during removal proceedings.
An experienced immigration attorney will assist you in the preparation of an I-130. Stokes interviews are difficult and tricky, but with the right preparation and focus, a successful outcome can be attained.
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