Redesigned Green Cards and EADs with Improved Security Features

As of May 1, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has begun issuing redesigned versions of permanent resident cards (i.e. I-551 forms, commonly referred to as “green cards”) and employment authorization documents (EADs). The redesigned documents include several enhanced security features. Existing green cards and EADs will remain valid through the expiration dates on the respective documents.

New Security Features

The new green cards and EADs will have the following enhanced security features:

  • Photo identification on both sides of the card
  • Unique graphic image and color palette
  • Embedded holographic image
  • Foreign national’s signature NOT on the card
  • Optical stripe NOT on back of the green card

Existing Cards to Remain Valid

As noted above, existing green cards and EADs generally will remain valid through the expiration date on the card. (Or, for anyone with an older green card that does not contain an expiration date, the document will remain valid indefinitely.) The redesigned documents will only be issued to those who have EAD or green card applications approved on or after May 1, 2017. Further, for the time being, the USCIS may continue to issue some green cards and EADs without the redesigned features as the agency works to deplete its remaining card stock.


The added security features in these immigration documents are designed to help protect against tampering and fraud. The USCIS regularly updates the design of official documents in order to better preserve the integrity of the U.S. immigration system.


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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.