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Simple Citizen vs Legal Zoom

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SIMPLE CITIZEN

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:

  • Basic ($99 to $199): PDF download of forms, USCIS submission instructions.
  • Standard ($224 to $249): PDF download of forms, USCIS submission instructions, Simple Citizen application review, application printing/shipping.
  • Premium ($298 to $349): PDF download of forms, USCIS submission instructions, Simple Citizen application review, application printing/shipping, immigration attorney review, supporting document translation, text/email USCIS status updates.

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.

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LEGAL ZOOM

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.

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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 Legal Zoom.

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:

  • Cost. How much will you need to spend to get your green card application filled out and submitted properly? Does the company charge for each document, or do they offer a flat-fee package?
  • Reputation. Does the green card service have an established track record for helping applicants get their green card as quickly and easily as possible? Do clients have good things to say about working with the people at the company?
  • Simplicity. Is the website easy to use? Does the business make the green card process easy to understand? Do you have a clear picture of what your green card application process will be like?

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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