WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 11, 2010) – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced last week the redesign of the Permanent Resident Card – commonly known as the “Green Card” – to incorporate several major new security features.
Beginning May 11, 2010, USCIS will issue all Green Cards in the new, more secure format. Recipients of the redesigned card will include those newly approved for lawful permanent residency, as well as those who have sought a renewal or replacement card.
The redesign is the latest advance in USCIS’s ongoing efforts to deter immigration fraud. State-of-the-art technology incorporated into the new card prevents counterfeiting, obstructs tampering, and facilitates quick and accurate authentication. Beginning today, USCIS will issue all Green Cards in the new, more secure format.
“Redesigning the Green Card is a major achievement for USCIS,” said Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “The new security technology makes a critical contribution to the integrity of the immigration system.”
The enhanced features will better serve law enforcement, employers, and immigrants, all of whom look to the Green Card as definitive proof of authorization to live and work in the United States.
The redesign has secure optical media that will store biometrics for rapid and reliable identification of the cardholder. It has holographic images, laser engraved fingerprints, and high resolution micro-images to make the card nearly impossible to reproduce.
Tighter integration of the card design with personalized elements will make it difficult to alter the card if stolen. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) capability will allow Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry to read the card from a distance and compare it immediately to file data. Finally, a preprinted return address will enable the easy return of a lost card to USCIS.
In keeping with the Permanent Resident Card’s nickname, it will now be colored green for easy recognition. USCIS will replace Green Cards already in circulation as individuals apply for renewal or replacement.
A Green Card is proof of authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. It also is evidence of registration in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Newly issued Green Cards are valid for ten years for lawful permanent residents and two years for conditional residents. The permanent resident must renew his or her card each time it expires.
Some existing Green Cards bear an expiration date, and those cards will remain valid until they expire. Holders of those cards will receive the redesigned version when seeking a renewal or replacement.
Other existing Green Cards have no expiration date, and those cards remain valid. USCIS recommends that holders of cards without an expiration date apply to replace their cards with the redesigned version.
The current cost of renewing or replacing a Green Card is $370. Additionally, eligible permanent residents may choose to explore becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. For more information on eligibility for naturalization, go to www.uscis.gov/citizenship.
For more information on permanent residency and other immigration benefits, visit www.uscis.gov.