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Immigration Law

Tonight we discussed the topic of immigration and got into how immigrants can become U.S. citizens, what happens to illegal immigrants if they are caught, and also the process of international divorce. To help us navigate this area of the law, we were joined by Seth Leech, immigration attorney from Whiteman Osterman and Hanna LLP, as well as one of my law partners at Tully Rinckey PLLC, Albany family and matrimonial attorney Barbara J. King.

I think a beneficial distinction we made tonight was the difference between a visa and a green card. There are a number of different types of visas immigrants can apply for, ranging from student visas to business ones, and even fiancée visas. The big thing to keep in mind with visas though is that they are only temporary. There is a time limit given to them, and while the law states there is no limit on the amount of times you can renew the visa, Seth indicated that it was pretty unlikely the government would give you a second visa.

A green card, also known as lawful permanent residence, is just that, permanent. It serves as a proof that its holder has been officially granted immigration benefits, which include permission to reside and take employment in the U.S. Visit our site to learn more about the different ways to obtain a green card.

Some people think that we don’t need immigrants, and I whole-heartedly disagree. Immigrants play critical roles in our society, most importantly in the area of employment. As Seth pointed out, there are a lot of high-tech businesses out there that simply can’t get the workers they need through the U.S. population. Not to mention the farming communities, even our own in Upstate NY. Personally, I think that immigrants are what make our country so great – the old “melting pot” slogan really holds true.

If you have any questions about immigration law or need help with an international divorce, call the Tully Rinckey office at 518-218-7100 or visit our website at


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