Do you need to prepare for a Stokes Interview?

The day of your wedding in Louisiana may have been one of the happiest days of your life. Perhaps it took a long time for you to be able to come to the United States from your country of origin. By the time you were able to plan your wedding, you may have quite ready to settle down and start building a new life with your love. As an immigrant spouse, you may have encountered challenges, such as a language barrier.

If one of the challenges you’re facing at the present time is that you and your spouse have been called to appear at a Stokes interview, it’s understandable if you feel nervous or afraid. After all, it will probably be one of the most important meetings of your life because failing the interview could place you at risk for deportation. Being called to a Stokes interview means that the U.S. government suspects that your marriage is fraudulent.

You and your spouse will be questioned separately

Immigration officials will want to speak with you and your spouse, apart from one another, during your Stokes interview. The purpose of this is to later compare the answers you provide for their questions, to see if yours and your spouse’s answers coincide. For instance, if your interviewer asks what color walls your bedroom has, and you say blue but your spouse answers the same question by saying beige, it raises a definite flag of concern in the interviewer’s mind.

Questions can be detailed and personal

In a Stokes interview, interviewers are trying to determine whether you might have gotten married just to obtain a green card. Such a marriage would be false pretenses. Questioning is often highly personal, including questions about your sleep habits, nighttime routine, favorite colors or foods, where you went on your first date or other information.

What if you don’t know an answer?

If you’re unsure about a particular answer, it’s best to be honest and say so. Some people may think it’s better to try to make something up on the spot. However, trying to beat the system is unlikely to sit well with immigration officials. Your interviewer would rather you state that you don’t know answer rather than try to fake it.

The aftermath of a Stokes interview

After you and your spouse have answered all the questions, there will be time for interviews to compare notes and to discuss whether or not they believe that you entered into marriage in good faith. It’s a good idea to seek guidance before attending a Stokes interview, preferably with someone who has already gone through the process or has helped others to do so.