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May 2, 2017

USCIS Issues New High-Tech Green Cards

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 19, 2017, that it will begin issuing revamped Permanent Resident Cards (commonly referred to as “green cards”) and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD Cards) as a part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project.

The project is intended to modernize security measures through advanced biometrics technologies. USCIS began issuing the new cards on May 1.

The new green cards and EADs will:

  • Display the individual’s photos on both sides
  • Show a unique graphic image and color palette:
    • Green cards will have an image of the Statue of Liberty and a predominantly green palette
    • EAD cards will have an image of a bald eagle and a predominantly red palette
  • Have embedded holographic images

The new cards will no longer display the individual’s signature, and green cards will no longer have an optical stripe on the back.

USCIS states that it intends to deplete its existing card stock before transitioning to the new version, so some green cards and EADs issued after May 1 will display the older design format. Both versions of the cards are acceptable for Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification, E-Verify, and Systematic Alien Verification and Entitlements.

Green cards and EADs issued before May 1 will remain valid until they expire. Foreign nationals in possession of those cards will receive the redesigned version when seeking a renewal or replacement. Older green cards without expiration dates will also remain valid; however, USCIS recommends that the holders apply for replacement cards with the new design to reduce the likelihood of fraud or issues with document verification during interactions with the government.

Employers and HR representatives should familiarize themselves with the appearance and features of the redesigned documents so that they are prepared to properly comply with the Form I-9 employment verification process for new hires.

For more information about green cards and the green card process, visit USCIS’ web portal.