Green Cards and EADs
Permanent Resident Cards, better known as Green Cards, allow the holder to live and work in the United States permanently. The Green Card holder isn’t a citizen, but they don’t have to worry about regularly reapplying for visas and dealing with deadlines and “out of status” designations. In fact, those with Permanent Resident Cards can do almost everything a US citizen can do, with the major exception of voting. Attempting to vote without citizenship is a surefire way to get deported.
Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) provide the holder with permission to work in the US. They’re legally allowed to obtain employment through the expiration date, which is typically one year after the document’s issue date. EADs are renewable and are available to most visa holders of legal age. Once you have an EAD through Form I-766 or Form I-688B, you can request and have a Social Security number issued.
Updates to the Green Card and EAD Designs
Effective January 30, 2023, USCIS’s newly designed Green Cards and EADs are the default versions issued to anyone applying for the first time or requesting an extension of these documents.
Both designs include state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology to enhance national security measures. While the security features are the primary reason for the designs, they also come with a few enhancements that streamline the use for cardholders.
The changes include complex artwork that is difficult to forge and replicate, tactile printing that goes along with the artwork, and optically variable ink. The secure holographic images on both sides of the card protect against fraud. Layer-reveal features place a partial window on the rear-side photo box. The data fields are in sections different from previous card designs.
All of the design updates showcase a clear effort from USCIS to protect the US and its citizens from fraudulent activities, such as counterfeiting and document tampering. The experts behind the designs and other security measures stay up-to-date with terrorism and cyberattacks, aiding the agency in proactively defending the country from intrusion.
What About the Old Cards?
The new designs take effect with cards issued after January 30, 2023. However, current cards continue to stay valid through their expiration date unless you’ve received a notice that says otherwise via a Federal Register notice or a Notice of Action (Form I-797).
If you’re issued a Green Card or EAD after that date, don’t be surprised if you still have the old design format. The new design requires different materials, but to prevent waste, USCIS will continue to use the old design until the supplies are gone. You can use both design versions for your Form I-9, E-Verify, Employment Eligibility Verification, and Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) forms.
Older Green Cards may not have expiration dates, and they won’t be replaced automatically. However, if you have one of these cards, you can (and should) apply for a replacement card, as these versions are easier to tamper with for fraudulent purposes.
The new designs don’t pose a threat to any H-1B seekers or current holders. This process happens every 3-5 years to stay on top of fraud and reduce the risk of counterfeiting. The most recent change in design happened in May 2017, so the new changes are right on schedule.
This change is an easy one, as most people will automatically receive the new card design once their Green Card or EAD expires. But dealing with the government while applying for an H-1B visa or a renewal is often challenging.
Let our immigration experts at Visa2US answer your H-1B visa questions and make the journey to your new job outside of your home country easier. At Visa2US, we’re available 24/7 to listen to your needs and guide your steps. Contact us today to see how we can help you maximize your chance of obtaining an H-1B visa or other documents to further your professional career.