Beginning May 1, 2017, new permanent residents and workers granted employment authorization will begin receiving redesigned green cards and employment authorization documents (“EAD”). The new cards and EADs are a part of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (“USCIS”) “Next Generation Secure Identification Document” project and come with “enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features” which create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use.
The new green cards and EAD 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
♦ 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.
In addition, green cards will no longer have an optical stripe on the back.
COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:
Some Green Cards and EADs issued after May 1, 2017, may still display the existing design format as USCIS will continue using existing card stock until current supplies are depleted. Green cards and EADs with the old design that contain an expiration date will be replaced by the new, redesigned versions after the date of expiration. Both versions of the documents are acceptable for filling out the Form I-9 and for using E-Verify.
Lastly, older green cards without an expiration date also remain valid, but USCIS suggests the holders of those cards consider applying for a replacement card that has an expiration date to “reduce the likelihood of fraud or tampering if the card is ever lost or stolen." None of these changes affect the employers’ duty to have compliant hiring procedures regarding the completion of I-9s. If your company has questions about compliant I-9 policies and procedures, contact The Saqui Law Group.