New Green Cards to be More Secure

Starting this month, USCIS will be issuing a new and redesigned permanent resident card – or “green card” – to those who qualify for new, renewal, or replacement cards. The new green cards incorporate several cutting-edge technologies, to facilitate quicker, more reliable authentication, and make green cards more resistant to tampering, counterfeiting, and other document frauds. (See USCIS To Issue Redesigned Green Card, Press Release, 11.May.2010.)

Among the new features:

  • secure optical media, which stores biometric data on the cardholder, “for rapid and reliable identification”
  • holographic images
  • laser-engraved fingerprints
  • high-resolution micro-images
  • personal information, carefully woven into the design, making it harder to alter lost or stolen cards
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags embedded in the card, so that border agents can read cards from a distance and check them against information already on file

The USCIS says that the new green card – unlike recent versions – will actually be green, to match the permanent resident card’s nickname. Even with its new built-in security measures, the new green card will not be completely fraud-proof, but it will be extremely difficult to fake. With pressure increasing on Congress to provide fake-proof identification as part of immigration reform, we should expect to see more secure IDs like this in the future.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.