USCIS announced last week that it will be redesigning the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a green card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017. These redesigns use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant that the ones currently in use.
The new card designs demonstrate USCIS’ commitment to continue taking a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud. They are also part of an ongoing effort between USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enhance document security and deter counterfeiting and fraud.
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; and
- No longer display the individual’s signature.
Green cards will also no longer have an optical stripe on the back.
How to Tell if Your Green Card is Valid
Some green cards and EADs issued after May 1, 2017, may still display the existing design format as USCIS will continue using existing card stock until current supplies are depleted. Both the existing green cards and EADs will remain valid until the expiration date shown on the card.
Both versions of the card are acceptable for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, E-Verify and Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE). Some older green cards do not have an expiration date. These older green cards without an expiration date remain valid. However, individuals who have green cards without an expiration date may want to consider applying for a replacement card bearing an expiration date. Obtaining the replacement card will reduce the likelihood of fraud or tampering if the card is ever lost or stolen.
If you have questions on applying for a green card or for employment authorization, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!