U.S. immigration to issue redesigned green cards starting May 1

What the newly designed Green Card will look like after it comes into circulation May 1, 2017 Photo: Courtesy USCIS
What the newly designed Green Card will look like after it comes into circulation May 1, 2017 Photo: Courtesy USCIS

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced this week that it will begin issuing redesigned Permanent Resident Cards (Green cards) starting May 1, 2017.

The move is part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project that seeks to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use. It is a multi-agency effort that involves USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “to enhance document security and deter counterfeiting and fraud,” USCIS said in statement.

Temporary Protected Status

USCIS however stated that some green cards will continue to be issued in their current format after May 1  so as to deplete current supplies before transitioning to the new versions. Existing green cards will stay valid until the expiration date listed on the card.

People on a Temporary Protected Status may have an expired date on their documents but might have had their validity extended beyond the date on the card. Mshale encourages you to consult with an immigration lawyer if unsure.

If you have a green card that does not bear an expiration date but is still valid, you should consider applying for the updated card to take advantage of the new security features.

According to USCIS, the new green Cards will:

  • Display the individual’s photos on both sides;
  • Show a unique graphic image and color palette:
    Green Cards will have an image of the Statue of Liberty and a predominately green palette;
    EAD cards will have an image of a bald eagle and a predominately red palette;
  • Have embedded holographic images; and
  • No longer display the individual’s signature.
  • Also, Green Cards will no longer have an optical stripe on the back.

About Tom Gitaa Gitaa, Editor-in-Chief

Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.

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