Green cards and EADs get new security design

New Green Card Design 2023


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the introduction of new Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) in January 2023. The redesigned cards will be issued beginning January 30, 2023, and incorporate state-of-the-art technologies to ensure national security and improve service to customers.

The new Green Cards and EADs will feature more detailed graphics and improvements in holographic images. In addition, the layout of the data fields will change from the old cards.

Just a few months ago, USCIS announced a new design for its immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, which will not only have a new look, but will also have new security features to make it more difficult to counterfeit.

USCIS Director Ur Jaddou sees the redesign as further evidence of USCIS' commitment to proactively addressing the threat of tampering, counterfeiting and fraud.

New Design Green Card

Use of the new design

USCIS redesigns cards every three to five years, and the "old" ID cards were introduced in May 2017. The new green cards and EADs feature "enhanced detailed graphics" and improvements in holographic images and optically variable ink, and the layout of data fields has also changed.

Existing cards remain valid until their expiration date. Some green cards and EADs issued after Jan. 30, 2023, may well still have the old design.
The introduction of the new designs is part of the Secure Identification Platform (SIP) project, which was launched in 2019 with a comprehensive market study to reduce the risk of fraud and counterfeiting.

Both the Green Card and EAD support identification for employment authorization via Form I-9, E-Verify, and electronic verification of immigration status (SAVE).

Applicants with older cards without expiration dates are advised to apply for a replacement card to avoid fraud or tampering in the event of loss or theft. However, this is not a must and the old cards will of course remain valid.

Excursus: Green Card and EAD

Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) are issued to permanent residents, most of whom may also apply for U.S. citizenship at a later date.

EADs (= General Employment Authorization) are issued to foreign persons who can then work in the U.S. on the basis of this document, but who do not hold a temporary work visa, such as F-1 college graduates under an OPT, applicants in the green card process, orfamily members of holders of E, L, H-1B, or J visas.

According to USCIS statistics, 2.6 million applications for EADs were received in 2021, and 511,000 individuals also obtained permanent residency through green cards.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there were 12.9 million Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) in the United States at the beginning of 2022 - this number decreased by 1.7 percent from 2021 to 2022 as more green card holders chose to naturalize in the United States.

History of the Green Card

The green card continues to be THE object of "desire" for many people around the world who want to live permanently in the United States. Because, the immigrant visa includes an indefinite stay and work permit. There are basically only three ways to obtain a green card:

  • Family reunification (Family-Based Green Cards) - e.g., marriage.
  • Immigration through employment (Employment-Based Green Cards) - e.g., through the U.S. employer or by means of substantial investment projects
  • Green Card Lottery (Diversity Lottery) - via the annual drawing of 55,000 green cards.

The realization of the Green Card was based on a quota system introduced by the Immigration Act to regulate how many people from different countries were allowed to immigrate to the U.S. each year. In 1940, a certification card was introduced for which all immigrants had to register at the U.S. Post Office with fingerprints and personal data.

The then light green colored paper document with the official title "Resident Alien Receipt Card" (or Form I-551) soon became colloquially known as the Green Card. The document entitles its holder to live and work in the United States indefinitely. The prospect of it, has always led to attempts at counterfeiting, which is why the look of the ID card has been regularly adapted and equipped with increasingly sharp security features such as holographic images, laser-engraved fingerprints or even RFID fields.


Updated on 7.3.2023

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