A permanent resident card is what we popularly call a green card as a result of its historic green color. It can be best described as a document having an identity about a person that indicates that the said person is permanently resident, lawfully in the United States. Also, it was previously known to be a “certificate of alien registration”.
What are the uses of a Permanent Resident Card?
The basic function of a Permanent Resident card is that it persons a person who is previously not resident in the US to become a full citizen thereby giving the holder the ability to enjoy all the benefits accrued to being a citizen such as residing and working freely anywhere you want within the country.
In addition to this, once a kid is less than 18 years of age and has at least a parent who is a US citizen, he/she automatically becomes a US citizen.
It is with this card that a person is permitted to stay in the United States without being arrested, but if you are found not having a green card or that your green card is a fake one, you can be punished for this by maybe going to jail for up to 30 days.
For you to mitigate this and avoid being fraudulent intentionally, you have to be careful when obtaining this green card.
Summary of applying for Citizenship as a Permanent Resident
As a green card holder, you have the privilege of being a citizen of the United States but just for five years. After five years, you are free to apply for Citizenship.
Your request can only be granted after you must have lived in the U.S for a minimum of five years, and this must be proven by presenting proof, while also stating that you were of good conduct within the said period and there were no criminal records.
You can indeed see most information on the card, however, some information is not self-noticeable like computer and human-readable signature. Now, you need certain tips and information on how to differentiate the genuine one from the fake one.
While hiring immigrants as an employer, and filing out the federally required I-9, you will frequently come across Permanent Resident Cards and sometimes it may be easy for you to identify a fake one from a mile away just by looking at once. The font, alignment, and layout may be conflicting with the appropriate green cards; also that the document does not have the usual security features; and/or that there are evident typographical errors on the face of the card.
In this article, we will concentrate on the green card itself, and a few of the general signs that indicate that a green card is not genuine.
What are the other signs of a fake green card aside from typos, and inconsistencies?
Always have it in mind that nobody expects you to be a document expert, but once a document does not pass your first “smell test,” you might use the information below to verify or change your initial evaluation.
- The first sign is that genuine/valid Permanent Resident Cards have a consistent font, alignment, or layout while the fake ones have a conflicting font, alignment, or layout. To help you further, you may want to look at the examples of valid cards in Section 12.1 of the I-9 Handbook for employers.
- The second sign is that it is not genuine if the card has references to the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) but was given after the agency stopped functioning and the green card was modified. In the year 2003, the Immigration and Naturalization Service became a part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and its duties were shared amongst several agencies. As a result of this, the Permanent Resident Card was modified in 2004 to ensure that it reflects the DHS sea, therefore all the cards that were issued after that are not supposed to contain references to the INS.
- The third sign is that the card is the incorrect version for the period in which it was given. At this point, we will like to let you know that the issue date for the card is not seen on the card and it is usually not the same as the date that the permanent residence status commenced because cards are usually given for two-year or ten-year periods. You can also utilize the Handbook for Employers to see the examples.
- The fourth sign is that the card has inner inconsistencies. The USCIS number in front of the card must tally with the number seen at the end of the first line of “code” located behind the card. In addition to this, the date of birth on the front of the card is expected to be the same as the one you have at the beginning of the second line of “code” located behind the card.
- The fifth sign is that there are other typos or grammatical errors in the card. You can locate common mistakes in a fake card at the back of the card rather than on the front.
- The sixth sign is when you see a “Resident Alien” card with an expiration date in 2009 or later. For I-9 purposes, Resident Alien cards without expiration dates are acceptable, nevertheless, those with expiration dates are expected to have expired in 2008 or before that.
- The seventh sign is that the card has the wrong form number. For all green cards given since the year 1979, the form number is I-551. If it is a recent card, it is printed on the back of the card in the upper left corner. It is common to spot a fake card with a 1-551 (“one”-551) instead of I-551 (“eye”-551) or have the form number I-766, which is in agreement with an Employment Authorization Document, and not a green card while some are known to have entirely random numbers following the “I”.
What happens If you are still uncertain whether a Green Card Is fake?
You are advised never to reject a document if you are not sure whether it is fake or not. We always recommend that you have a clear I-9 policy in place and ask for clarifications for questions concerning your duties when it comes to reviewing documents from an immigration attorney.
In conclusion, it is not always easy to identify fake green cards, but with these few points we have given you, you can easily identify them if you follow these guidelines.