How Do I Find My Green Card Number and What Does it Mean?

How Do I Find My Green Card Number and What Does it Mean?

If you have a Green Card, you may ask yourself: How do I find my Green Card number?

To find your Green Card number, also known as your I-551 receipt number or US permanent resident card number, simply flip the Green Card over and look at the back. The Green Card number is a 13-digit number located at the end of the first line of characters on the back of the Green Card. It typically begins with three letters, and is followed by 10 numbers.

For example, your Green Card number might look something like this:

NBC 19 022 20812

On earlier versions of the Green Card, the number might be printed in a different place, or may not be on the card at all.

What Does My Green Card Number Mean?

Your Green Card number is the number that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses to track your case. Therefore, in most situations you won’t need to know your Green Card number.

However, your Green Card number is not a randomly generated series of letters and numbers. They each have meaning. If you’d like to know how to read your Green Card number, we will explain.

Reading Your Green Card Number

First Three Letters – Service Center

The Green Card number, or receipt number, always starts with three letters. These letters refer to the USCIS Service Center where the case for residency status was received.

USCIS Service Centers

  • CSC – California Service Center
  • EAC – Eastern Adjudication Center (now referred to as the Vermont Service Center)
  • IOE – Electronic Immigration System (ELIS), or efiled online
  • LIN – Lincoln Service Center (now the Nebraska Service Center)
  • MSC – Missouri Service Center (now the National Benefits Center)
  • NBC – National Benefits Center
  • NSC – Nebraska Service Center
  • SRC – Southern Regional Center (now the Texas Service Center)
  • TSC – Texas Service Center
  • VSC – Vermont Service Center
  • WAC – Western Adjudication Center (now the California Service Center)
  • YSC – Potomac Service Center

Using our NBC 19 022 20812 Green Card number example, we can see that the case for residency for this Green Card was received at the National Benefits Center (NBC).

Second Two Digits – Fiscal Year

The second two digits of your Green Card number indicate the fiscal year in which the case was received. Don’t get this confused with the calendar year. The US government uses the fiscal year, which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.

NBC 19 022 20812 means the case was received between October 2018 and September 2019.

Third Three Digits – Computer Workday

The third set of numbers on your Green Card receipt number refer to which workday in the fiscal year your case was received. Workdays do not include holidays or weekends. For instance, the first workday of fiscal year 2019 was October 1 2018.

For NBC 19 022 20812, the case was received on the 22nd workday of fiscal year 2019, which was October 31 2018.

Final Five Digits – Case Number

NBC 19 022 20812

The final five digits are the number USCIS assigned to your case. In our example, we can see that the case number is 20812.

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Other Information on the Back of Your Green Card

There are a total of 90 characters spread across three lines of 30 character on the back of your Green Card.

First Line on Back of Green Card

  • This line starts with a C1 or C2. If you hold long-term permanent resident status in the US, it will read C1. If you’re a permanent resident commuter from Canada or Mexico, it will read C2.
  • The next three characters indicate your country of residence. They will read USA if you live in the US.
  • Digits 6-15 are known as your Alien Registration Number, which can be found on a variety of USCIS documents pertaining to your immigration.
  • The final 13 digits of the first line are your Green Card number, as discussed above.
  • Remaining > or “less than” symbols are placeholders

Second Line on Back of Green Card

  • The second line will start with your birthdate in YY/MM/DD format
  • This is followed by a one-letter abbreviation for your gender
  • The remainder of the line will have your Green Card expiration date in YY/MM/DD format, and more placeholders

Third Line on Back of Green Card

  • The final line on the back of your Green Card will contain your last name, followed by your first name, your father’s first initial, your mother’s first initial, and extra placeholders as necessary.

Whether you refer to it as your Green Card number, I-551 receipt number, or permanent resident card number, it is all the same thing. Reading the back of your Green Card is not a complicated process, as each piece of information is unique to you, and your path to permanent residency in the US.

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