New Green Cards and Employment Cards

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to take action in its efforts to deter fraud. Lawful Permanent Resident cards, more commonly referred to as "Green Cards," have undergone at least 5 changes since their post-World War II debut, and Employment Authorization Cards ("EADs") have borne at least as many. On May 1, 2017, USCIS began issuing redesigned cards with enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features that should be generally agreeable to HR staff, yet an impediment to would-be scammers.

The new features on the cards include the individual's photo on both sides; embedded holographic images; removal of the individual's signature; removal of the optical stripe on the back of the Green Card; and a unique graphic image and color palette display on the face of the Green Card and EAD. Green Cards will have an image of the Statue of Liberty, and the surface of the card will appear predominately green; EAD cards will have an image of a bald eagle with the surface of the card appearing predominately red. The prior version of the cards both had a green palette, which, to an inexperienced examiner, could cause one card to be mistaken for the other.

In an effort to be fiscally and environmentally conscious, USCIS will continue to use existing card stock until current supplies are exhausted, and, therefore, may issue some Green Cards and EADs which still display the previous card designs. USCIS will provide an update once all previous card stock has been depleted. USCIS has advised unexpired cards currently in use will remain valid until their expiration date. USCIS also encourages individuals who have older versions of the Green Card that do not display an expiration date to apply for the newly redesigned card to help reduce the likelihood of fraud, although the older card remains valid.

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