Q. I recently heard that the federal government may be issuing new “green cards.” Is this true?
A. On May 11, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will begin issuing a redesigned Permanent Resident Card, commonly referred to as the “green card.”
For the first time in over 30 years, newly issued green cards will actually be green. The new card replaces the tan card that has been used for the past several years.
The new card incorporates several new security components, including storing biometric data and adding several features designed to prevent fraudulent reproduction of the card.
Green cards are used as evidence of a noncitizen’s right to permanently work and live in the United States. Green cards are typically issued with a validity period of 10 years.
Existing cards, produced in the older format, remain valid for the period indicated on the card. As people renew their green cards, the old cards will be phased out.
Employers should familiarize themselves with the new card by visiting the agency’s web site (www.uscis.gov), as they will soon be seeing the new card presented when employees complete required Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Any green card (Form I-551) still within its validity period can be used as a valid “List A” document for I-9 purposes.