By Sharon Barney, Esq.

On April 19, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued an announcement that it was redesigning the Permanent Resident Card (also known as “green card”) and Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. These new cards began issuing on May 1, 2017.

The new Green Cards and EADs have unique identifying characteristics to better conform with security measures.

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;
    • EAD cards 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.

While the new Green Cards and EADs will begin shipping on May 1, 2017, prior editions will continue to be provided until the supply is depleted. Employers should continue to ensure the validity of each card by confirming the expiration date that is located on the card.

Both the new and existing versions of the Green Card and EAD are acceptable for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, and E-Verify. Some older Green Cards do not have an expiration date. These older Green Cards without an expiration date continue to remain valid.

In addition to confirming the validity of employment authorization documents, employers should also ensure that they are using the current Form I-9, which was released on November 14, 2016. As of January 22, 2017, only the most current version of Form I-9 is acceptable. Information on the newest version of Form I-9 is available here.

You can review the full USCIS press release regarding the new Green Cards and EADs as well.

If you have any questions regarding Form I-9, E-Verify, or Immigration Regulatory compliance, please contact Sharon Barney. Sharon is Counsel in the Immigration and Family Law Practice Groups. She is based in Leech Tishman’s State College, Pennsylvania office and has experience counseling companies and individuals on navigating the landscape of immigration laws, regulations, and policies. Should you have any questions regarding the changing immigration policies and how they affect you, Sharon can be reached at 814-954-5904 or at sbarney@leechtishman.com.

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Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl is a full-service law firm dedicated to assisting individuals, businesses, and institutions. Leech Tishman offers legal services in alternative dispute resolution, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, construction, corporate, employee benefits, employment, energy, estates & trusts, family law, government relations, immigration, insurance coverage & corporate risk mitigation, intellectual property, international legal matters, litigation, real estate, and taxation. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Leech Tishman also has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Sarasota and Wilmington, DE.