Laurence E. Stevens has practiced immigration law since 2005, advising citizen and non-citizen clients on lawfully living, working, studying, and visiting in the United States.
He received a dual B.A. degree in Economics, and Spanish, from Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pa., and a J.D. degree from the SUNY Buffalo School of Law, Buffalo, N.Y. He is a member of the bar of New York, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Immigration Collaborative of The Legal Project (Albany, N.Y), and the Guilderland (N.Y.) Chamber of Commerce.
Apart from his university degree he holds a Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera (Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language) from the Ministry of Culture of Spain, and Instituto Cervantes (New York), and serves as immigration lawyer in residence for the Saturday Misa en Castellano at the Cathedral of All Saints, Albany, N.Y.
In 2007, Mr. Stevens retired from the Department of Taxation & Finance of the State of New York, where he specialized in the personal privacy issues that surround tax administration.
What I have learned practicing immigration law:
- Immigration law is detailed and confusing. It is not for beginners or do-it-yourselfers.
- Mistakes and misrepresentations never fade away. And they might work against your later filings, or the applications of others. Doing it right the first time is always best.
- No immigration problem solves itself. You must apply for and receive approval for every immigration benefit you seek. Crossing your fingers, waiting and hoping, is no plan at all. Evading deportation is not a success story.
- Millions of people correctly comply with the immigration laws and receive their desired answer.
- Non-citizens have rights and responsibilities outside the world of green cards, visas and work authorization.
- Officers in the Immigration Service are not your friend but neither are they your enemy. They have a difficult job separating eligible from ineligible applicants, and honest from dishonest ones.
If I take your case, then I will prepare your application with argument and proof that shows you to be eligible and truthful. I do not guarantee your success because the final decision is not mine but I guarantee you my best efforts on your behalf.
Working with me as my new client.
When a new client contacts me I suggest he or she meet with me. I charge an hourly fee for that payable at the meeting. If I take your case, then after our meeting you I will send you an engagement letter with a fixed fee for our engagement. I decline to answer legal questions in a telephone call because I do not know if the caller/client knows what is legally important to the question, or can correctly appreciate my answer. And I do not wish to give uncompensated legal advice.