Have you ever noticed that your green card looks different from your family members' green cards who received them in different years? It's not commonly known, but USCIS actually redesigns green cards and work permit cards every three to five years.
USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) recently announced its latest redesign to its green cards (permanent resident cards) and EAD cards (employment authorization document, also known as a work permit), and has already started issuing them.
Why Are Green Cards and Work Permits Changing?
The latest green cards and EAD cards that USCIS is issuing have state of the art technology that have been included to safeguard national security. This includes holograph images on the front and back of the cards that is apparently very secure.
In the last decade the United States has taken multiple steps across federal agencies to improve the security of bills and documents so that they cannot be replicated. This typically has meant introducing a combination of holographic images, security strips, and unique colors that are harder to replicate.
Is my Green Card still Valid?
Yes, USCIS states that current green cards remain valid until their expiration date (unless otherwise noted, such as through an automatic extension of a Green Card as indicated on a Form I-797, Notice of Action, or in a Federal Register notice).
However, there are some much older green cards that do not have expiration dates printed on them. While these cards remain generally valid, USCIS encourages applicants with those older cards to consider applying for a replacement card to prevent fraud or tampering should the card ever get lost or stolen.
Is my Work Permit still Valid?
Your EAD card (work permit) remains valid as long as it is still within its expiration date, and sometimes even after, if USCIS announced an automatic extension such as through a Form I-797, Notice of Action, or in a Federal Register notice.
I Received my Green Card or Work Permit After January 30 and it still has the Old Design…
Although USCIS has changed the design of its printed cards, some current recipients of green cards and work permits may continue to receive the old type of card simply because USCIS still has the previous cardstock, and will continue to use it until its supplies are depleted. USCIS assures applicants that both the older version and the newer version of the cards are acceptable for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification; E-Verify; and Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE).
If you have questions about applying for a green card, work permit, or any other USCIS petition, please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.