What is the Green Card Number?

There are various numbers on your green card. Let’s look into the notations of the various parts of the USCIS assigned number.

I. What is a Green Card Number?

In general, USCIS assigns a unique number to green card applicants in order to track the progress of the application, as well as to assign to the green card holder upon approval of the green card. The green card is also formally known as Form I-551 by the USCIS. The front of a permanent residence card will have basic identifying information, along with a copy of your photo and fingerprint. However, the backside of the green card provides additional numbers and information that are unique to the green card holder.

II. What are the numbers on the back of the Green Card? What is a permanent resident number? Where is the Green Card number location?

The numbers listed on the back of a green card can be quite confusing to the untrained eye. However, once you understand the system, identifying information from the back of the green card can be quite easy.

  • “<<” are place holders and do not need to be counted
  • The first line is technically the whole green card number, aka, the permanent resident number.
    • In most cases, the last 10 digits along with the first three letters of the Service Center
  • The first two letters on the first line represent whether the green card holder is a permanent resident within the United States (C1) or whether the green card holder is a permanent resident commuter from Canada or Mexico (C2)
  • The next three letters are indicative of “USA,” showing the location of the permanent residence
  • The next 6-15 digits are the Alien Registration Number
  • The next three letters, as indicated above, are the identifiers of your Service Center
    • CSC-California Service Center
    • EAC-Easter Adjudication Center (now Vermont Service Center)
    • IOE-ELIS (eFile)
    • LIN-Lincoln Service Center (now National Benefits Center)
    • MSC-Missouri Service Center (now National Benefits Center)
    • NBC-National Benefits Center
    • NSC-Nebraska Service Center
    • SRC-Southern Regional Center (now Texas Service Center)
    • TSC-Texas Service Center
    • VSC-Vermont Service Center
    • WAC-Western Adjudication Center (now California Service Center)
    • YSC-Potomac service Center
  • The next two numbers indicate the fiscal year the USCIS case was received.
    • Fiscal year begins October 1 and ends September 30
  • The next three numbers indicate the computer work day USCIS case was opened.
    • Excludes most weekends and holidays
  • The last five digits will be your unique USCIS case number
  • The next line of information provides your birthdate in a YY (Year)/MM (Month)/DD Date format, letter indicating gender, the expiration date of the card, and the country of birth
  • The last line contains the card holder’s last name, first mane, and possible other letters for father or mother’s first initial