Employers and I-9 professionals should be aware that starting Monday, May 1, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin issuing a redesigned Permanent Resident Card (also known as a “Green Card” or Form I-551) and Employment Authorization Document (EAD or Form I-766). While the updated Green Card and EAD will contain bolder imagery and a few enhanced safety and fraud deterrence features, the cards will continue to serve the same purpose for employers’ I-9 verification obligations.

Under the new design, several features of the Green Cards and EADs are changing:

  • The individual’s photo will be displayed on both sides of the card.
  • Card imagery will be bolder:
    • Green Cards will contain vivid imagery of the Statue of Liberty set against an American flag backdrop.
    • EADs will contain vivid imagery of a bald eagle set against an American flag backdrop.
    • Cards will contain embedded holographic images.
    • Cards will no longer display cardholders’ signatures.

USCIS will continue producing the existing versions of the Green Cards and EADs until the current card stock supply has been exhausted. Employers and I-9 professionals should note that although there are different designs of these cards, employers can continue to accept older design versions of the Green Card and EAD for I-9 verification purposes.

Sample images of the newly redesigned Green Card and EAD are available on the USCIS website.

Images of previous designs of the Green Card are available in USCIS’s Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274).



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Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provides a wide range of legal services for employers seeking temporary business visas and permanent residence on behalf of foreign national employees.

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