If the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has any suspicions about the authenticity of your marriage, you and your spouse will be summoned to a fraud interview, also known as the Stokes interview, before approving your petition. The reason for a fraud interview is to prove whether or not your marriage is “fake,” thus determining your lawful permanent residency.
Triggers for Suspicion of Fraud
An officer may flag a “fraud” marriage for any reason, but common triggers include couples who are different races, have different addresses, speak different languages, or have a big difference in age or intelligence.
What Happens at the Interview
At the interview, the immigration officer will review your paperwork and ask you and your spouse basic questions to confirm who you are and where you live and work. Once your identity is confirmed, the officer will want to see documents that show you and your spouse sharing a life together, whether it’s through wedding photos, bank statements, insurance policies or shared contracts for an apartment or house.
The officer will separate you and your spouse and ask both of you the same set of questions. A fraud interview will not be a comfortable experience, since the officer’s job is to find out if you are lying or not. The interview can take up to several hours. Once the questions are complete, the officer will compare the answers and see how well they match up.
Possible Interview Questions
While this is not an exclusive list of all the questions an officer will ask, it is a general guide to help you prepare for the interview. These questions are far more probing and intense than the questions asked at the initial interview, and range in topic from the development of your relationship to relatives and children:
- When and where did you meet for the first time?
- When did you decide to get married?
- What did you give each other for your last birthdays?
- Which holidays do you celebrate together?
- Do you have any photos from your last vacation together?
- Did anyone get drunk and embarrass themselves at your wedding?
- Did you go on a honeymoon? When did you leave? Where did you go? What airline did you fly?
- How often do you see each other’s parents?
- What children were normal delivery and which ones were C-section?
- What do each of you eat for breakfast?
- How many TV sets are in your home?
- What is your spouse’s least favorite food?
- Where do you keep your toothbrushes?
- Who sleeps on each side of the bed?
- Who gets up first? At what time?
- How many bedrooms are in your home?
- When did you eat dinner last night?
TIP: USCIS officers have been known for asking a husband and wife to show them house keys. The officer may compare each key to ensure they are identical.
If you are facing an immigration marriage fraud interview, enlist the help of our Cleveland immigration lawyers at Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. An experienced attorney can help you prepare for the interview, by going over important documents and questions.
Contact us online or call (888) 491-8770 to speak with an attorney.