How to Spot a Fake Permanent Resident Card

This article centers around the green card itself, and a few of the typical indications that a green card is counterfeit.

Please keep in mind that if your initial document does not pass the “smell” test, you may be able to confirm or change the below information using an expert document.

  • Within Section 12.1 of the I-9 Handbook for Employers, one can refer to illustrations of acceptable cards. The typeface, positioning, or arrangement of the card differ from that of authentic cards.
  • Following that, cards that are issued should not have any mentions of the INS. The Permanent Resident Card underwent a revision in 2004 in order to showcase the DHS emblem; its roles and responsibilities were distributed among various agencies and the INS became a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003. Even though the card still includes references to the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service), it was issued after the agency ceased to exist and the green card was modified.
  • Typically, cards are issued for periods of ten years or two years. It is not necessarily the case that permanent residence began at the same time as the card, and note that the date of issue is not found on the card. See the examples in the Handbook for employers. The card is the wrong version for the period of time it was issued.
  • The birth date listed on the front of the card should also be the same as the second line of the “code” on the back of the card. The number at the end of the first line of the “code” on the back of the card should match the USCIS number on the face of the card.
  • Instead of being present on the front, counterfeit cards often display typographical errors on the reverse side. The card may also include other typographical errors or grammatical mistakes.
  • You are looking for a Resident Alien card with a later expiration date in 2009. Resident Alien cards without expiration dates are acceptable for I-9 purposes. Those with expiration dates should have expired earlier in 2008.
  • I have completely random numbers. Instead of the green card, I have the number form that corresponds with the I-766 or I-551, which is printed on the back of the card in the upper left corner. This card is not green like the newer cards. The card issued since 1979 contains the incorrect number form for all green cards.
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    What If You’re Still Not Sure Whether a Green Card Is Fake?

    When you have questions about your responsibilities regarding documents, it is always best to speak with an immigration attorney and ensure that you have a clear I-9 policy in place. If you are certain that the document is not fake, do not reject it.

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