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Although Simple Citizen has only been around since 2014, they've already made quite the name for themselves. As a startup, their investors included the well-known Y Combinator and BoomStartup; their mentions in Wired, USA Today, and on NPR - among many others - have made Simple Citizen the "high-tech darling" among green card services.
Referred to as the "TurboTax for immigration", Simple Citizen streamlines the green card application process through an online interface that walks you through a series of well-designed questions, allows you to upload supporting documents, and then passes your application along to an immigration attorney. Simple Citizen then prints out the completed application and sends it via mail, with clearly-indicated places where you (and your spouse, if applicable) need to sign.
Amazingly, Simple Citizen can help you complete your entire green card process for less than $350 (note: USCIS filing fees are extra and aren't typically included in any green card service provider's costs).
Simple Citizen offers 3 levels of green card application services. These include:
First you click on the "Let's Get Started" button to use the screener that Simple Citizen uses to determine what kind of green card application fits your situation. You'll be asked if you're currently in the US or outside, which visa you used when you entered the country, if you have a spouse or child that is a US citizen, and so forth. In our case, we were told to expect a preparation time of two hours to complete our application.
Clients rave about Simple Citizen's live support. Numerous reviews and testimonials praise the responsiveness of Simple Citizen's representatives, especially those that were nervous about getting their application done correctly, or who just felt that they needed a little extra hand-holding during the process.
Simple Citizen also earns high marks for including document translation services. If you're submitting a birth certificate from China, for example, Simple Citizen includes the translation of that document into English; their in-house staff speaks a half-dozen languages, and they use consultants for any additional languages they need.
Best of all, clients who use Simple Citizen say that they get the job done accurately, inexpensively, and often in much less time than it would take them to do it on their own. We found several reviews that said that using Simple Citizen saved them months of processing time AND several thousands of dollars compared to working with an in-person attorney. Same process, same successful result - but far less time, money, and hassle involved.
It's often said that when it comes to 3 things - fast, good, and cheap - you can only choose two. But when it comes to Simple Citizen, we think you can get all three. For all of these reasons, Simple Citizen is the first choice for people who want to get their green card, and earns our highest rating for the best green card service.
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.
Best Green Card Services
To help you find the Best Green Card Services, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Simple Citizen and 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.
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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