What to Do If You’ve Been Called For a Stokes Interview


A “Stokes” interview happens when USCIS believes you and your spouse are attempting marriage fraud for the purposes of obtaining an immigration benefit. Each spouse is called into a separate interview room and is subjected to questions to determine whether the couple is truly married.

Many of these questions are about obscure pieces of information, such as the last time you got groceries together or details about the sofa in the living room. While the questions may seem easy at first glance, people often misremember small details, such as exact days, colors, or numbers. 

Nevertheless, there’s no reason to panic if you’ve received notice that a Stokes interview will take place. While learning that USCIS is suspicious of your application is not good news, there are steps you can take to pass the interview.

Double Check Basic Information 

It’s not a good idea to over-rehearse every piece of information you can think of, but you should know the basics. You need to know each other’s birthday, where your first date took place, where both of you work, how you met, and your favorite foods. You should be able to name members of one another’s immediate families. 

Some spouses are very bad at remembering this basic information, even in a bona fide marriage, so it doesn’t hurt to touch base and make sure both of you are on the same page. 

You can find a list of common Stokes interview questions here.

Don’t Stress Out With Practicing

Don’t practice to the point where your answers are robotic and matched to an insane degree. That will just signal that you coached one another for the interview and “got your stories straight.” 

Small discrepancies won’t threaten you much. USCIS officers know that people struggle to remember exact days, dates, times, and colors.

Besides, no online list of questions is going to cover every question an officer might think of. Officers know the online lists exist and often have personal, favorite questions that don’t often get published. There’s a good chance you’ll be asked something that stumps you or results in a discrepancy, even if you’ve been happily married for over a year.  

Bring a Lawyer

You have the right to bring an attorney to your appointment, and you should. First, the attorney will hear both sets of answers. Being there gives your lawyer time to prepare if they spot that one of the answer sets is likely to be problematic to your green card application. Your lawyer will generally take detailed notes throughout the proceedings. This information will be useful if you and your lawyer need to appeal USCIS’ decision. 

Second, your lawyer may be able to challenge particularly unfair or ridiculous questions. Your lawyer can also help clarify what a question means, as sometimes language barriers can result in “wrong answers.” 

Plus, having your lawyer present can have a calming effect on you, which can help you avoid answering incorrectly because you are panicking. 

Get Help Today 

You don’t have to go through the marriage green card process alone. The team at Hykel Law is here to help you succeed.

Schedule an appointment to get help today!

See also: 

Common Marriage Green Card Interview Questions

4 Good Reasons to Bring an Attorney To Your Green Card Interview

What is a USCIS Site Visit?


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