|The Permanent Resident Card, also commonly known as the “Green Card” has encompassed many shapes and forms over the years. For the past several years, the color of the Green Card has remained a light shade of pink. On May 11, 2010, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it has completely redesigned the card, adding new and enhanced features. Among its many improvements, the Green Card is finally going to be the color green.|
The first Green Cards issued after the Alien Registration Act of 1940 were originally white receipts. In the 1950s they were green, and in the mid-1960s they were changed to pale blue. In the past several years, it has been issued with a light pink background color. Despite these changes, the Permanent Resident cards have retained the moniker, “Green Cards,” and they have continued to signify proof of authorization to live and work in the United States.
Aside from the change in color to match its infamous name, the redesigned Green Card has some enhanced security measures. These include: Secure optical media to store biometrics for rapid and reliable identification of card holders. Holographic images, laser engraved fingerprints, and high resolution micro-images to make the card nearly impossible to reproduce. New design features with detailed and personalized elements will make it difficult to tamper with or alter the card if it is stolen. Radio Frequency Identification capability will allow Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry to read the card from a distance and compare it immediately to file data. Last, but not least, a preprinted return address will enable the easy return of a lost card to USCIS.
Beginning on May 11, 2010, USCIS will begin to issue all Green Cards in the new format. Those non-green colored Green Cards issued before May 2010 will still continue to be valid before their expiration. Card holders will receive the redesigned green-colored Green Cards upon renewal or replacement. If your card does not have an expiration date, USCIS recommends that you replace your card to obtain the new green-colored Green Card. Currently, the filing fee for renewal or replacement is $370.