I-9 Compliance: Will You Recognize Redesigned Green Card and Employment Authorization Documents?

by Marylou V. Fabbo

As discussed in our blog earlier this year, since January 22, 2017, employers have been required to use the new Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for U.S. employment.  Employers should be aware of additional changes that may impact the verification process.  Effective May 1, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project will be issuing redesigned Permanent Resident Cards, commonly referred to as “Green Cards,” and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) aimed at reducing the risk of tampering.

Both Green Cards and EADs are documents that establish both identity and employment authorization, and employers need to recognize that the look of these documents is changing.  The new Green Cards and EADs will display the individual’s picture on both sides.  Both will have a unique graphic image and color palate.  Green Cards will have an image of the Statute of Liberty and a predominately green palette, and EAD cards will have an image of a bald eagle and a predominately red palette.  They also will have embedded holographic images, and will no longer display the individual’s signature or have an optical stripe on the back.  Some Green Cards and EADs issued after May 1, 2017 may still be in the old format as the USCIS will exhaust its stock before beginning to use the new documents.

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