Green Card Number

The Green Card number, also known as the document number, is a 13-character number. This number is printed on the back of the Green Card.

Green Card
On the previous versions of the Green Card, this card number was printed on the front of the card. This number can be found on the back of the most recent version of the Green Card. This 13-character number is a combination of letters and numbers. The first three characters are usually letters and these three letters will be followed by 10 numbers.  

Learn how to read your Green Card

Alien Registration Number

The Green Card number or the document number is not the same as the Alien Registration Number that is printed on the front of the card under “USCIS#.”

Alien Registration Numbers, also known as A-Numbers, are assigned to non-U.S. citizens who have been approved for legal immigration status in the U.S. These numbers are seven-, eight- or nine-digit numbers. These numbers are printed on the front and back of the Green Card.

These numbers can also be found on other immigration documents like the Employment Authorization Document and an immigrant visa.

Green Card

A Permanent Resident card, best known as “Green Card,” is a plastic card the size of a driver’s license. This card will be issued to you if you become a legal permanent resident of the U.S. This card will have your biographic information including your photo, name, fingerprint and date of birth. It will also have the date on which you were granted legal permanent residency and the date on which the card will expire.

Green Card holders are granted permission legally to live and work here indefinitely. However, this status is not citizenship. Though you can live and work in the U.S. permanently, you might lose this status if you happen to commit a crime that makes you inadmissible into the U.S. Likewise, if you stay abroad for a long time and abandon your permanent resident status, you will lose your legal residency in the U.S.

Green Card is not the official name of this document. Permanent Resident card is the official name of this document. However, it is also commonly known as an “Alien Registration Card” and “Form I-551”. Resident cards that were initially issued were green in color and that is the reason why many still refer to this document as a Green Card.

The most recent version of this card is not green but yellow. New cards have a magnetic barcode on the back which stores the holder’s information. You can read more about the old Green Cards and the new card here.