USCIS Redesigns Green Card and Employment Authorization Document

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced new designs to improve security of Permanent Resident Cards (also known as Green Cards) and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). USCIS began issuing the redesigned cards on January 30, 2023. This is a routine process; USCIS has changed the design of cards every few years to keep up-to-date with the latest security and fraud prevention recommendations. This article will give a quick summary of the relevant changes and any effect they may have on an employer’s I-9 employment verification process.

Employers must complete Form I-9 each time they hire any individual to perform labor or services in the United States in return for wages or other renumeration. Employers are obligated to complete Section 2 of the Form within three business days of hiring an employee. It is important for employers to understand these recent design changes so they can accurately review and verify the employment authorization of all individuals legally authorized to work in the United States.

Below is a look at the recent design changes:

Please note that the inclusion of these new designs does not mean that all prior and current cards are invalid. Current cards will remain valid until their expiration date (unless otherwise noted, such as through an automatic extension of a Green Card or EAD as indicated on a Form I-797, Notice of Action, or in a Federal Register notice).

Additionally, some Green Cards and EADs issued after January 30, 2023, may still display the existing design format because USCIS will continue using existing cardstock “until current supplies are depleted.” Both versions of the cards are acceptable for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification; E-Verify; and Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE).

Some older Green Cards do not have an expiration date. Such cards will generally remain valid, although USCIS encourages applicants with these older cards to consider applying for a replacement card to prevent fraud or tampering should their card ever get lost or stolen.

Employers that are ever unsure as to whether a document presented by an employee is valid should contact counsel to assist in the review.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.