In the following article, we will clarify the topic of Green Card Number. To illustrate it properly, we will cover the basics of the Permanent Resident Card, introduce you to the Green Card Number itself, show you how to read it, and decipher all the mysterious numbers it consists of. You will also find out the differences between this particular number and the other widely used number related to immigration services. We will also present you with different Green Card designs, so you can easily read all the important information right from your card.

Permanent Resident Card – The Basics

Green Card is a common name for the identification card issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to permanent residents – permanent resident card. A permanent resident is an immigrant, who is legally allowed to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely. It is important to note here, that although some permanent resident cards contain no expiration date, most are valid for 10 years.

If you have been granted conditional permanent resident status, the card is valid for 2 years. Green cards got their nickname because they were green in color from 1946 to 1964 at the beginning of the introduction. This was adopted easily, especially since it was inconvenient to use the official name. Throughout the passing decades, they were decorated in all sorts of colors: blue, pink, or yellow. In 2010 they became green again.

What is a Green Card Number?

A green card number is an individually assigned number that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a government agency, used to track your case, before issuing the Green Card.

A permanent resident card number is a 13 digit number listed on every Green Card. It often begins with 3 letters followed by 10 numbers. We will show you how to recognize this number and decipher the number in the next passage.

Another name for Green Card Number is a receipt number.

Green Card Number = Permanent Resident Card Number = Receipt Number

How to read a Green Card Number?

Green Card Number is located on the bottom of the back of the card, directly in the first line of this long set of characters. As we mentioned above, you should search for 13 digits starting with 3 letters. Those letters have their specific meaning, they stand for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration service center that received your resident status case. On this specimen, you can see “LIN”.

LIN stands for Lincoln Service Center (now known as Nebraska Service Center). It means that your case was received there.

Right after the service center code, you can see two digits that represent the fiscal year the case was received. It is important to remember that the fiscal year is not the same as a calendar year. The fiscal year is counted from October 1 to September 30.

To give you some perspective, as an example, if your case was received by a service center on the 15th of October, 2019, your Green Card Number would have a fiscal year of two numbers – 20. If a case was filed between October 2016 and September 2017, your Permanent Resident Card Number will have number 17 in this respective position.

Following the fiscal year, 3 digits indicate the workday that the case was opened on a computer. Those 3 numbers for workday are based on 365/366 days per year, minus holidays and weekends. So if your green card reads TSC 21 043, your case was received at the Texas Service Center in the 2021 fiscal year, on the 43rd workday.

The last 5 numbers represent your unique immigrant case number — the number of the approved case that finished in a success of a green card being granted to you.

Green Card acronyms you may want to know

CSC – California Service Center

EAC – Eastern Adjudication Center (now known as Vermont Service Center)

IOE – ELIS (file)

MSC – Missouri Service Center (now known as National Benefits Center)

NBC – National Benefits Center

NSC – Nebraska Service Center

TSC – Texas Service Center

VSC – Vermont Service Center

WAC – Western Adjudication Center (now known as California Service Center)

YSC – Potomac Service Center

More Examples of Green Card Numbers

The below are specimens of the Green Card with marked Receipt Numbers on them. Since these are just examples and not real Green Cards, only service center numbers have a real significance.

LIN stands for Lincoln Service Center (now known as Nebraska Service Center)

SRC – Southern Regional Center (now known as Texas Service Center)

The characters “<” carry no significance, they simply hold the space between relevant numbers.

Did you know: The authorities of the United States give away 55 000 Green Cards every year in The Diversity Visa Program. Contact our law firm for details.

Difference between Green Card Number and Alien Registration Number

This is an important one. To efficiently navigate the depths of your own administrative or any government agency-related affairs, you should learn to distinguish between Green Card Number and Alien Registration Number. For this article, remember that the first number is only on the back of the Green Card and has 13 digits, while the second number (also called A-number or USCIS number) has only 9 digits and is on both sides.

For more details, please see our article on A-number or contact our law firm

Summary Of a Green Card Number

For your convenience, we summarized the Receipt Number as short as possible. To easily recognize this number, remember that it is structured as follows :

3 for service center code → 2 for fiscal year → 3 for workdays → 5 for your unique case number

Does the information you have read give you the feeling that you are just deciphering an enigma code? We understand that sometimes you just don’t want to waste your valuable time dealing with all the matters related to a government agency. If you wish your immigration paperwork to be done in an optimized manner, contact our law firm.

No document is Enigma to us.

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