Why Did I Get Called for a Second Interview for my Green Card?

If you’re trying to apply for your permanent residency in the United States through your spouse, you may be surprised at the amount of scrutiny the government will put on you and your marriage. 

When you initially apply for your “green card” through your U.S. spouse, you will typically fill out a form called an I-130. All applicants who apply for their permanent residency through this form will automatically be subjected to an initial interview by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). At this interview, you would have been asked general information about you and your partner’s relationship and marriage. However, you may be surprised that you have been asked back for a second interview. While this is slightly unusual, there are ways to help prepare yourself for this crucial interview. Keep reading to learn more about what to expect from your second interview with the USCIS regarding your permanent residency.


What is a “Stokes” Interview

As mentioned above, the USCIS will always conduct an initial interview for anyone applying for an I-130 to obtain their green card in the United States. If however, they still have suspicions after reviewing your application and conducting your first interview, they may ask you and your spouse back for what is known as a “Stokes Interview”. This interview will be more intense and probing than the first marriage interview, and we would recommend hiring an immigration lawyer to accompany you and your husband or wife to this interview. Your lawyer does not have any power over what type of questions the interviewer will ask you, but can be a calming presence for you and your spouse. Also, your lawyer will be better prepared to handle any follow up matters.

A Stokes Interview will be a much lengthier and involved process. The interviewer will separate you and your partner in order to determine if your answer questions consistently about your marriage. You and your spouse should be prepared to answer questions such as: what type of birth control do you use (if any), or what did you give each other as gifts for a recent holiday? USCIS officers have been known to ask a husband and wife to produce their house keys. The officer then compares them to make sure that they would fit the same locks. Other information you and your spouse may want to review are things like:

  • How often and what time you call, text, or email each other.
  • Your activities the last time one of you visited (if not living together).
  • Which of your financial matters are shared, or who (if either) supports the other financially.
  • How often and what time you call, text, or email each other.


If you feel a question is too personal or inappropriate you do not have to answer the question and can ask to speak to a supervisor. Usually straightforward, hard questioning is enough to trip up any fraudulent marriages. Occasionally, a USCIS interviewer could falsely tell someone that their spouse has confessed in order to push the interviewee to confess. They may ask you to sign something to withdraw your I-130 petition. If your marriage is an honest one do not sign anything and ask to stop the interview; then reschedule one with a lawyer present.   

A second interview for an Adjustment of Status application not based on marriage can mean a variety of things from USCIS needing to clear something up, to them having found something in your record.



If you have applied for a green card through your U.S. spouse and have been asked to attend a second interview, then it would be wise to contact an attorney to review your application. Dominguez Law is an experienced law firm that can provide you with knowledge and quality advice on the entire process. Contact us today to learn more!


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