U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a redesign of Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project.
USCIS lauds the new card as a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud. This is also said to represent an ongoing effort between USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enhance document security and deter counterfeiting and fraud.
USCIS began issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017.
The new design uses enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use. The new Green Cards will:
- Display the individual’s photos on both sides
- Show a unique graphic image and color palette: Green Cards will have an image of the Statue of Liberty against the American flag, and a predominately green palette
- Have embedded holographic images on both sides
- No longer display the individual’s signature.
Also, Green Cards will no longer have an optical stripe on the back.
Determining if Card is Valid
There may be some confusion with old and new Green Cards now in circulation. Some Green Cards issued after May 1, 2017, may still display the existing design format because USCIS will continue using existing card stock until current supplies are depleted. Both the existing and the new Green Cards will remain valid until the expiration date shown on the card.
Some older Green Cards do not have an expiration date. Older Green Cards without an expiration date remain valid. Individuals who have Green Cards without an expiration date are not required to apply for a replacement card bearing an expiration date.
Conditional Permanent Residents
A conditional permanent resident receives a 2-year Green Card. To remain a permanent resident, a conditional permanent resident must file a petition to remove the condition during the 90 days before the card expires. Also, the conditional card cannot be renewed. The conditions must be removed or the person will lose their permanent resident status.
You may find the following USCIS Green Card Webpage helpful. The information above is derived from the USCIS announcement on the redesign.