USCIS Releases a New Green Card
Earlier this week, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the release of a new green card.
The new green card — or the permanent resident card, as it is known officially — was redesigned to incorporate new and improved security features.
But what are the differences between the old green card and the new green card? And if you are a current permanent resident, will you need to replace your green card?
Avoiding Immigration Fraud
The green card was redesigned to implement better security features in an effort to deter immigration fraud.
“Redesigning the Green Card is a major achievement for USCIS,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas in a press release. “The new security technology makes a critical contribution to the integrity of the immigration system.”
With the new green card features, it will be harder to tamper with or produce counterfeit cards.
Better Security Features
The old green card had only a few security features — and on top of that, the card wasn’t even green!
To redesign the green card, USCIS partnered with US Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Homeland Security Screening Coordination Office and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Forensic Document Laboratory to bring about a well-designed card with state-of-the-art features.
The new green card improves on the picture of the resident and unique background design and holographic image. It also adds optical variable ink, a laser-engraved fingerprint, a tamper-resistant border and tiny high-resolution pictures of state flags and presidents. All of these elements make the new green card difficult to reproduce.
Digital files, including biometrics, are still stored on the card. Now, in addition, there is also an embedded radio frequency identification device. The radio frequency identification allows inspectors to read unique serial numbers from a distance and link the information to the personal data on file.
These new security features will allow for authentication of the new card quickly and accurately.
One element of the card is that USCIS kept the card’s nickname in mind when they redesigned it — the new green card is actually green!
Green Card Replacement
All green cards issued after May 11, 2010, will be in the new, more secure format.
Many permanent residents are now in possession of green cards with the old format. Some of these existing green cards have an expiration date. The cards will be valid until the expiration date, and the cardholders will receive the the redesigned green card if they seek a renewal.
There are some permanent residents in possession of green cards with no expiration date. While these cards are also still valid, USCIS recommends that these green card holders apply for a card replacement in order to receive the new green card.
To renew or replace a green card, permanent residents must fill out Form I-90. The fee is $370.
An alternative to renewing a green card may be filing for citizenship. Depending on the length of their duration in the US, some permanent residents may be eligible to apply to become a naturalized US citizen.
If you are a permanent resident, explore all your options before applying for a new green card!