USCIS Redesigns Employment Authorization Document & Certificate of Citizenship to Combat Fraud

Contributed by Jacqueline Lentini McCullough

As part of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ongoing efforts to enhance the immigration system, the redesigned Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card document and Naturalization Certificate will deter counterfeiting, obstruct tampering and facilitate accurate authentication. USCIS began issuing the new EAD cards on October 25, 2011, and the redesigned Naturalization certificates on October 30, 2011. USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas indicated,

“These enhanced documents are more secure than ever. They advance our efforts to safeguard against fraud and protect the integrity of the immigration system.”

The new features of the EAD will help employers and law enforcement officials to recognize the card as proof of work authorization in the U.S. In terms of the new Certificate of Citizenship, the recent enhancements render the certificate more tamper-proof.

Despite the changes to the EAD document and Certificate of Naturalization, the manner in which an applicant applies for these documents will not change. USCIS will gradually replace EAD’s in circulation as foreign nationals apply for renewal or replacment EADs. Going forward, previously issued EADs remain valid until the expiration date printed on the card. Previously issued Certificates of Citizenship remain valid indefinitely.

Below are some noted changes to the new EAD card:

Redesigned EAD Card Features