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Your wedding bells rang, then ICE knocked at your door

You married the love of your life and moved into your dream house here in Colorado. Okay, so perhaps it is not exactly your dream house, but it is large enough to welcome the children you and your spouse hope to have. It's also a nice place to live while you make plans for your future, which may at some point, include building that home of your dreams.

What happens if the U.S. government calls your marriage into question? If you receive notice to appear at a Stokes interview, that's exactly what it means. Immigration officials are questioning whether you married for legitimate reasons or whether you merely tried to beat the system and obtain a green card. Such situations are often highly stressful and knowing where to seek support may be key to a successful outcome.

Be prepared to answer personal questions

When you report for a marriage investigation, you will have no doubt have to show immigration officials various documents, including your marriage license. However, you should also expect to have to answer a long list of questions regarding one or more of the following topics:

  • Your interviewer may want to know where you and your spouse met and what you did on your first date. However, your spouse may be separated from you to answer the same questions in another room so officials can check if your answers correlate.
  • You may also have to tell what you know about your spouse's childhood, perhaps including your mother-in-law's name or where your spouse went to high school.
  • Your interview might get pretty personal, including questions regarding your bed time routine or even how often you have marital relations in a given month.
  • It is not uncommon for Stokes interviewers to ask about tattoos your spouse might have or what color your bathroom is painted.

When you arrive for your interview, you and your spouse may be in the same room but at some point, it is likely that you will answer questions separately as well. Remember that officials are trying to determine if you and your spouse have a legitimate marriage or if you married just so you could get a green card.

If problems arise

What happens if you don't know the name of your spouse's elementary school? Don't panic. Many Colorado spouses, even those who are natural born citizens, would have trouble answering such questions. It is never a good idea to lie, however, so just try to remain calm and explain that you are uncertain of the answer. You and your spouse may seek legal representation before attending your Stokes interview as well, which often helps alleviate stress.

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