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Legal Zoom vs Green Card Family
Where do you get a Green Card? If you are not a citizen of the United States, having a green card enables you to live and work legally in the country. This identification card proves that you have permanent resident status and must be carried at all times if you are 18 and older.
There are three common ways to qualify for a green card: 1) sponsorship by a family member, 2) sponsorship by an employer, and 3) through refugee or asylum status. In the past, the green card application process was long and frustrating, sometimes taking months to complete. That's why green card services have become so popular.
LegalZoom is well-respected for providing accurate advice and access to lawyers for numerous legal situations. Instead of giving you a form with instructions and wishing you luck, LegalZoom gives you a free first consultation and partners you with an attorney that will handle your case every step of the way.
Because every situation is different, LegalZoom can't tell you exactly what your case might cost. They do state that most green card applications average just under $1500; this does not include the USCIS filing fees that you'll also need to pay.
To get started, you'll fill out the form for LegalZoom's free initial consultation: name, current immigration status, desired immigration action, and so forth. You'll be contacted by an immigration professional who will give you a free assessment of your individual circumstances, clear-cut pricing information, and a referral to an attorney that will handle your application.
Unlike some of the green card services we evaluated, LegalZoom does seem to have options for those who are in the country currently without proper documentation. Of course, you'll have to sign up for your free consultation to find out what, exactly they do offer and what their fees are, but at least it was given as one of the options in the dropdown boxes.
LegalZoom has an "A+" grade with the Better Business Bureau, demonstrating their respectability and trustworthiness. Although we didn't find many client reviews specifically describing LegalZoom's green card services, their overall reputation across the legal spectrum is excellent.
If you've got the money to spend and you prefer to have an immigration attorney overseeing your green card application throughout the whole process, LegalZoom is an ideal choice for your immigration needs.
Green Card Family - also known as Family Green Card Service - takes a strictly do-it-yourself approach to applying for a green card. Each person applying for permanent residency must purchase a package for $97. This package includes:
From the information they provide on their site, it looks like Green Card Family doesn't even include the necessary USCIS forms with this DIY package: instead, they provide links to "official sources of many free US government forms and services". So, in short, it looks like your $97 gets you a packet of papers that give you advice on immigration law and how forms can be filled in, but no advice that will help you with your individual application.
In fact, Green Card Family says right on their site, "We offer general advice on common problems, and do not give specific advice to specific individuals about their particular problems... [We are] a private, non-lawyer website".
The only way to contact Green Card Family is via email to a help desk address or through a PO Box in New York: no toll-free number, no live chat.
While the site does show customer testimonials, there's no way of knowing when those were written. We found no reviews anywhere else online, no rating with the BBB, no profiles on any social media platforms.
Green Card Family just doesn't measure up when compared with other services currently available, most of which offer personalized recommendations for those hoping to establish or renew their permanent residency status. We strongly suggest that you choose a higher-ranked green card service in our review.
Traditionally, whichever path made the most sense for you, the green card application process would take several months - or longer - with a large amount of paperwork to be completed. Many green card hopefuls became frustrated while completing the forms necessary for their application. And it was not unusual for green card applications to be returned for a single error, creating further delays and possibly resulting in rejection of the applicant.
For these reasons, green card services have become popular. Why risk unnecessary delays and having your application rejected if you can work with an experienced professional to make sure that everything is in order? These services range from do-it-yourself application packets that are reviewed by immigration experts, to full-service companies with attorneys that have years of experience in immigration law that can help you through every step of the process.
It's important to understand that for people who "entered without inspection" - or who came into the US without interacting with a border agent (for example, an "undocumented immigrant") - there may be even fewer ways to get permanent resident status. As immigration laws have changed several times over the last few years, you should be aware of whatever the current possibilities may be for your particular situation.
Which green card service is right for you? As you consider the various green card srevices, here are several things to keep in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Green Card services currently available. We hope that this information helps you obtain your green card and permanent resident status, so that you can work and live in the United States, as quickly as possible!
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