The "Green Card" is Green Again

Today the USCIS unveiled a newly redesigned "green card' that is supposed to have stronger security measures to make the cards harder to counterfeit and tamper. The new card is provided by local Silicon Valley company, LaserCard. And it's green again. The nickname "green card" is derived from the first Alien Registration Receipt Card introduced in 1946. It was green, and remained green over the next two decades. The card has been revised numerous times since then, and has been officially called a Resident Alien card and a Permanent Resident Card. Despite these official names, it's still commonly known as a green card.

The pictures below show the front and back of the cards, and detail some of the security features. One feature to note is embedded Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which allows inspectors to read unique, 192-bit serial number (192-bits) from a distance and link the information to the personal data on file. The card incorporates high resolution security artwork, resolved at up to 25,000 dots per inch, making it beyond the capability of scanning, copying and printing technologies. It also has laser etching on the hologram, making it that much more difficult to counterfeit. As an immigration lawyer, I'm looking forward to seeing one of these new cards soon.

Permanent residents do not need to replace their existing green card until their current one expires, or if they lose or damage their current one.

by Michelle Gee