USCIS to issue new permanent resident cards that are actually green

The USCIS will soon issue a redesigned green card that will actually be green.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced recently that it has redesigned the Permanent Resident Card—commonly known as the “Green Card”—to incorporate several major new security features. The Green Card redesign is the latest advance in USCIS’s ongoing efforts to deter immigration fraud. State-of-the-art technology incorporated into the new card is designed to prevent counterfeiting, obstruct tampering, and facilitate quick and accurate authentication. Beginning May 11, 2010, USCIS will issue all Green Cards in the new, more secure format.

Despite the name, Permanent Resident Cards, once called Alien Registration Receipt Cards, have not been green in more than 30 years.

“Redesigning the Green Card is a major achievement for USCIS,” said Director Alejandro Mayorkas.
“The new security technology makes a critical contribution to the integrity of the immigration system.”

The enhanced features will better serve law enforcement, employers, and immigrants, all of whom look to the Green Card as proof of authorization to live and work in the United States. Among the benefits of the redesign: Secure optical media will store biometrics for rapid and reliable identification of the card holder. Holographic images, laser engraved fingerprints, and high resolution micro-images will make the card nearly impossible to reproduce. Tighter integration of the card design with personalized elements will make it difficult to alter the card if stolen. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) capability will allow Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry to read the card from a distance and compare it to file data. Finally, a preprinted return address will enable the easy return of a lost card to USCIS.

In more detail, new features of the new redesigned cards will include a shift in ink color from gold to green; an embedded radio frequency identification device; tactile laser personalization, an infogram (the holographic image); the before mentioned laser engraved fingerprint, and a unique background design. Other aspects of the new cards will be a featured micro-image, with high resolution pictures of state flags. Optical media will store all digital files, including biometrics, and finally, the cards will incorporate a micro-image, high resolution picture of the current U.S. president.

In keeping with the Permanent Resident Card’s nickname, it will now be colored green for easy recognition. USCIS will replace Green Cards already in circulation as individuals apply for renewal or replacement.