Redesigned Green Cards, Employment Authorization Documents Debut May 1

USCIS implements changes to combat identity fraud

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer April 20, 2017
Redesigned Green Cards, Employment Authorization Documents Debut May 1

New permanent residents and workers granted employment authorization will begin receiving redesigned green cards and work documents with "enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features," according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The new green cards and employment authorization documents (EADs) will be issued starting May 1 as part of the agency's Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project.

"The new card designs demonstrate USCIS' commitment to continue taking a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud," the agency said.

Green cards and EADs with the old design are valid until their expiration date, after which they will be replaced by the new, redesigned versions. Both versions of the documents are acceptable for filling out the Form I-9 and for using E-Verify.

[SHRM members-only webcast: The New I-9: What You Need to Know for Completion and Compliance]

Older green cards without an expiration date also remain valid, but USCIS suggested the holders of those cards 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," the agency said.

Certain EADs for individuals with Temporary Protected Status and other designated visa categories have been automatically extended beyond the validity date on the card.

New green cards and EADs will:

  • Display the individual's photo 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, and EADs will have an image of a bald eagle and a predominantly red palette.
  • Have embedded holographic images.

The new documents will no longer display the individual's signature, presumably to make it more difficult to forge them, and green cards will no longer have an optical stripe on the back.

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