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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.
VisaPro is a Washington DC-based immigration law firm that has been in business for nearly 15 years. With over a thousand clients from more than 50 different countries, this green card service has experience with most immigration situations.
You can start by clicking on the "Check My US Visa Options" button. You'll need to select whether you're hoping for a work visa or a family visa, enter your information, and then the online tool will show you your options. Otherwise, you can choose the Free Visa Assessment; enter your name, email, and phone number (optional), and you'll get a no-charge, 10-minute consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer who will review your personal situation and help determine your eligibility for a green card.
What does VisaPro charge? When we spoke with a representative at VisaPro, she said that they do not publish their rates online. Even when you go to their Fees page, all you'll find is that they charge a flat rate for most cases, though some may be billed hourly. These fees are indicated in the agreement that you will sign if you decide to become their client. Compared with other green card services, VisaPro lacks transparency: you'll have absolutely no idea what it might cost you to work with them until you actually talk with one of their professionals. People usually want to know a rough estimate of costs before giving their information out, especially in a situation like getting a green card that may be sensitive; VisaPro loses points for not offering their potential clients any way of knowing what their fees might be.
Also, when we described a situation of an undocumented immigrant wanting to get legal status for herself and for her children currently living in another country, the representative said, "We don't do that." When we asked what kinds of green card cases they do handle, she replied that they mainly help people in situations needing work visas, or who have spouses that are American citizens. Given that their site proudly advertises that they "help clients achieve success in all immigration matters," we were disappointed to learn that there are many people who will not be able to use their service after all.
On the other hand, VisaPro clearly knows what they're doing with respect to immigration, especially with green cards for those who meet their criteria. Reading through the Success Stories section of the site, it's obvious that their lawyers truly know how to help their clients. Every case is handled by an attorney; there's no guessing at which paperwork you might need or if you've done it accurately. And, with an "A+" rating as an accredited company with the Better Business Bureau, VisaPro has a solid reputation.
If you are looking for help with your green card application that includes working directly with an experienced attorney, VisaPro might be a good choice for you. But, because they do not publish their fee information, be prepared for an expensive bill if you choose to use their services.
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 Visa Pro.
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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