HR Alert

USCIS to Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents

New Green Cards and EADs Implicate Form I-9 and E-Verify

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card ("Green Card") and the Employment Authorization Document ("EAD"). USCIS is expected to begin issuing the new Green Cards and EADs on May 1, 2017.

Redesigned Cards
The new Green Cards and EADs 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 and a predominately green palette; and EADs will have an image of a bald eagle and a predominately red palette;
  • Have embedded holographic images; and
  • No longer display the individual's signature.

Also, Green Cards will no longer have an optical stripe on the back.

What Employers Need to Know
Under federal law, employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire by completing and retaining Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. In addition, many employers also participate in USCIS's E-Verify program to confirm employment eligibility. For example, use of E-Verify is mandatory for certain federal contractors, while some private companies may also be required by state law to use E-Verify.

As a result of the redesigned Green Cards and EADs, employers should be aware of the following:

  • Both the existing and the new versions of Green Cards and EADs remain acceptable for purposes of Form I-9 and E-Verify.
  • Both the existing and the new Green Cards and EADs will remain valid until the expiration date shown on the card.
  • Some older Green Cards, which do not have an expiration date, remain valid.
  • Certain EADs held by individuals with Temporary Protected Status and other designated categories have been automatically extended beyond the validity date on the card. For additional information on which EADs are covered, please visit USCIS's Temporary Protected Status and American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act web pages.
  • Some Green Cards and EADs issued after May 1, 2017 may still display the existing design format, as USCIS will continue using existing card stock until current supplies are depleted.

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