Your green card number is the number assigned to you by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when you receive your lawful permanent resident (LPR) approval. USCIS uses this number to track your case and identify you in their system. In fact, you may hear it referred to as a “case number” because it is tied to your immigration case and the approval you received through this agency.
You can generally find your green card number on the bottom of the back of the current cards. It may be in a different location on older cards. No matter, it should be easy to spot. You will see a long collection of characters, and your green card number will be in the first line.
Decoded: What does My Green Card Number Mean?
Your green card number is the 13-digit number on the back of your permanent resident card. It is generally three letters and ten numbers. This number consists of a code that indicates:
The USCIS Service Center
The three letters at the beginning of your green card number indicate the USCIS service center that handled your immigration case. If you are in Phoenix, this may be:
- CSC for the California Service Center
- TSC for the Texas Service Center
- IOE for the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (ELIS), if you e-filed
The following two digits represent the fiscal year when your case was received and processed. Note that the fiscal year differs from the actual year in some cases, so these numbers may not be what you expect.
The Work Day
After the year, there is a three-digit number that indicates the workday when your case was entered into the computer system. This will be a number between 001 and 366. They do not count weekends and holidays.
Your Case Number
The last five digits are unique to your case and indicate your immigration case number.
It is important to note that there are a series of “less than” (<) symbols included in this area, as well. They are not part of the number or the code. They act as space savers when those spaces are not needed for necessary information.
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Why do I Need to Know My Green Card Number?
Your lawful permanent resident number is not the same as your alien registration number, A number, or other numbers issued to you by USCIS. While it contains your case number, it is even different from your case number. It is also different from your Social Security number.
If you requested a Social Security number when you applied for your lawful permanent resident status, USCIS and the Social Security Administration will work together to issue you both cards and numbers during the same process. If you did not, you will need to go to the local Social Security office to get one.
Both of these documents could be important when applying for a job. While having your Social Security number memorized is usually enough, there is no reason to memorize your green card number. As USCIS reminds you, lawful permanent residents should have their green card on them at all times. You can also request a replacement green card if necessary.
What do I Need to Do to Get a Green Card?
The steps to get a green card can vary depending on your circumstances. It can be much easier for some than others. An attorney who handles immigration cases can assess your situation with compassion and without judgment. Even if there are obstacles to clear before you can petition for lawful permanent resident status, there may be options for immigration relief.
A lawyer who advocates for immigrants and their families can help you better understand this process and the benefits of getting your green card. They will discuss your current legal status and your goals for you and your family members. They will also be able to walk you through the process that could allow you and your family to get the status you need to stop worrying about arrest, detainment, and removal.
If you have a loved one already in immigration proceedings or jailed because of their status, an immigration attorney may be able to reunite your family while you wait for the court’s decision.
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Discuss Your Case With New Frontier Immigration Law Lawyers
At New Frontier Immigration Law, we can file for your green card, pursue naturalization and citizenship, or handle other immigration needs for you and your family. You can count on our attorneys to provide the caring, knowledgeable information you need to understand your options. We will advocate for you and fight threats of removal if necessary. We may be able to help you gain legal status and take the next steps in your journey.