How to Read a Green Card

USCIS uses your A-Number to track your immigration files, which are sometimes called alien files or a-files. They also require you to provide your A-Number on most immigration documents that you submit to them. In May 2004, the design was modified slightly with the Department of Homeland Security seal and a detailed hologram on the front of the card. Although the last of these green cards expired in 2020, there are several permanent residents who carry this card and need to renew it.

  1. Your access to and use of this site, including any purchase, is subject to and constitutes your agreement to the website Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
  2. The Internal Revenue Service and Social Security office use the Social Security Number (SSN) to track a U.S. worker’s taxes, income, and other financial information.
  3. The result is the most highly secure and tamper resistant identification in the history of the green card.
  4. Alternatively, you can schedule an InfoPass appointment at your local USCIS office.

USCIS issues an EAD to all F-1 students who are authorized for optional practical training (OPT) and M-1 students authorized for practical training. See Section 7.4.2, F-1 and M-1 Nonimmigrant Students, for more information on Form I-20. If you have a non-conditional, 10-year green card, the USCIS recommends you renew your green card within 6 months of its expiration date.

To find your alien registration number for H-1B, you can find it in the same locations as previously mentioned, including a visa stamp on your passport, work permit, green card, etc. If you need assistance completing your H1B registration, check out this complete guide. Your Alien Registration Number isn’t the only number you’ll see on your receipt notices. You’ll also have a USCIS case number, or receipt number, which is used to track your specific application and to check your application status online.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. You can request your Alien Registration Number (A-Number) through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). If you cannot locate your Alien Registration Number, you can request it through the FOIA Request, Form G-639. Expect to wait at least eight weeks for USCIS to respond to your request for your alien number. VisaNation Law Group is happy to help you file this if you are unsure of your A-Number. Again, expect to wait at least eight weeks for USCIS to respond to your request for your alien number.

Generally, they do not assign the number to nonimmigrant visitors. Nonimmigrants include anyone that is in the United States on a temporary basis. However, USCIS may assign the Alien Registration Number to certain classes of nonimmigrants that have been granted employment authorization or other benefits. The enhancements of this edition reflect the importance of maintaining a valid, unexpired copy of a green card. Validating identity at airports and with employers through the I-9 verification process makes the card a vital piece of identify for U.S. permanent residents. As immigrants began streaming through U.S. borders, alien registration ceased to take place at post offices and became part of regular immigration procedures at ports of entry and immigration offices.

Government information

Understanding where to find and how to interpret this number is important. INS began to issue different documents based on the alien’s admission status to replace the receipt cards. For example, visitors received a Form I-94c, temporary foreign laborers received a Form I-100a, and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) received a Form I-151. The pale green colored Form I-151 became coveted proof that the holder was entitled to live and work indefinitely in the United States. Sometimes people use the term Alien Registration Number card interchangeably with a green card, permanent resident card, or visa. However, it’s important to know there is no actual Alien Registration Number card, just the number present on various immigration forms and documents of permanent residents and certain nonimmigrants.

What is an alien card number?

Thus, a more secure card was developed and issued in December 1997. Cards issued between 1977 and August 1989 do not have document numbers or expiration dates and continue to be valid. The green card, which only recently became green again, has a history with a variety of names and colors. It’s transformation over time into a critical piece of photo identification reflects the scarcity of residency in the United States.

The security features are proof that numerous counterfeiters will stop at nothing to duplicate it. To enter it online or on forms, applicants must add the A at the beginning. If an A-Number has fewer than nine digits, applicants may also have to add a zero immediately after the A before entering the digits. Permanent Resident Cards are also known as Form I-551s or Green Cards. Each Green Card that USCIS issues to a permanent resident now has an Alien Registration Number on both the front and back.

USCIS uses either an I-551 (ADIT) stamp or a temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV) to indicate temporary evidence of lawful permanent residence. Sometimes, if no foreign passport is available, USCIS will place the I-551 stamp on a Form I-94 and affix a photograph of the bearer to the form. Entrepreneur-based conditional residents receive conditional status if the permanent residence is based on investment. Within 90 days of the card’s expiration, conditional residents should apply to have the conditions removed from their residence to receive a 10-year, non-conditional green card. Marriage-based permanent residents receive a conditional status if the marriage was less than 2 years old on the day they received permanent residence.

A resident alien is a U.S. permanent resident (green card holder). They also can sponsor certain relatives for immigration to the United States. If green card is applied through consular processing (applied for green card at a U.S. embassy or consulate), then it will be on Data Summary stapled to the front of your immigrant visa package. If you’ve applied for a green card from outside the United States, then you should have received an immigrant visa stamp, containing your A-number, in your passport.

The registration forms were forwarded to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for processing, and a receipt card (Form AR-3) was mailed to each registrant as proof of compliance with the law. Although it wasn’t called a green card at the time, the AR-3 marks the first type of identification issued to immigrants. Once you have been assigned a number, you will have it for the rest of your life.

For example, in the permanent residence card number example bolded above, this case was opened on the 12th workday of the 2017 fiscal year. Additionally, the card shows your country of birth and the date you became a permanent resident. Understanding these details is vital for managing your status as a permanent resident in the U.S. You can also find an Alien Registration Number on an immigrant visa.

Find A-Number on Immigrant Fee Handout

The online system will show the last action taken on your case and will let you know the next steps, if applicable. We also provide helpful reminders to keep your address current and how to submit inquiries. You can verify your case status online from your home or office, even from your cell phone! You only have to access USCIS’ Case Status Online directly through The notation on Form I-94 typically states “CFA/FSM” for an FSM citizen and “CFA/MIS” for an RMI citizen. Official websites use .govA .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Your A-Number is very important, so you need to know how to identify it. Your A-Number appears on a few different documents, such as your Permanent Resident Green Card, Employment Authorization Document, and Immigrant Visa. This article will show you how to find your A-Number so that you can successfully use it to file new immigration forms or track the forms you have already filed. Understand the information of the 13-digit number format in the permanent resident card number. Reading the back side of your green card, where the PRC number (Permanent Resident Card number) is located, involves understanding the specific format of the data presented. The PRC number is part of a 90-character string, beginning with a “C1” or “C2” code, indicating your residence status.

If you have a conditional, 2-year green card, the USCIS requires that you apply to remove conditions on your status within 90 days of its expiration. USCIS assigns an A-Number to all immigrants who apply for Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) or immigrant visa. If you’re a resident alien, you must report your worldwide income from all sources, that is, income from both within and outside the United States. Suppose you applied for your green card via consular processing. In that case, you can also find your Alien Registration Number on the USCIS Immigrant Fee handout the immigration officer gave you. You could locate your A-Number on the Immigrant Data Summary, which the U.S. embassy or consulate gave you if you applied for your green card through consular processing at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

While Your Green Card Application is Pending with USCIS

The front side displays the personal details of the individual, while the back side contains the green card number and additional information. In May 2017, USCIS began issuing a redesigned green card as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. In a constant resident alien card number pursuit to prevent fraud, the current edition of the green card uses enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features. During the history of the green card, fraud has been a constant problem. As quickly as INS worked to counter fraud, counterfeiters caught up.

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