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 in color. The new card replaces the beige/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 non-citizen’s right to work and live in the United States permanently. 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 individuals renew their Green Cards, the old cards will be phased out.

Employers may wish to familiarize themselves with the new card by visiting the agency’s website as they will soon be seeing the new card presented in connection with completing required Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms. Any Green Card (Form I-551) still within its validity period can be used as a valid “List A” document for I-9 purposes. Green Card holders may review the agency’s FAQ for more information on the new card and also click here to obtain information about renewing Green Cards expiring within the next six months by using the required Form I-90.