The idea for SimpleCitizen came into effect the way most brilliant ideas do: out of personal experience and a need for a better way.
When Sam Stoddard of Oregon married his immigrant wife EunJoo of South Korea, he faced the struggle of obtaining legal citizenship first-hand. Complicated paperwork and intimidating lawyer fees proved to be quite the roadblock in and endless journey for EunJoo’s green card.
After 6 months and over 100 hours of tedious paperwork, Stoddard came to the realization that there should be a “TurboTax for immigration,” FastCompany.com reports.
“That was the light bulb moment for me,” he said in an interview, and in 2015 he launched SimpleCitizen: a web-based application that facilitates the green card and citizenship process.
“The platform guides users through their entire application: users answer questions and upload supporting documents, and then SimpleCitizen translates the documents if necessary, and sends the application to be reviewed by an immigration attorney,” Stoddard told FastCompany.com.
SimpleCitizen’s processing fee runs immigrants a grand total of $249- a far cry from the aforementioned $3,000 that Stoddard and his wife had to pay. The company claims to have already saved immigrant families almost a million dollars in legal fees.