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Green Card Number

What is the Green Card Number?

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses a personalized number called the green card number to monitor your case before issuing the card. Although the green card may appear uncomplicated at first glance, it contains three lines of 90 characters, including letters, numbers, and “<” symbols on the back. Within this sequence of characters is crucial data, including your green card number, which is distinct for every green card holder.

Green card front

Where is my Green Card Number?

The green card number, also referred to as the receipt number or permanent resident number, can be found at the bottom of the back of the green card. It’s located in the first line of a lengthy sequence of 90 characters, with the less than symbols serving as placeholders. The back of the green card is divided into three lines, each containing 30 characters. The green card number is situated in the last 13 characters of the first line, with two placeholders following it. Specifically, the green card number is composed of digits 16 to 28, followed by “>>.” 

Green card back

On the back of a green card, the initial line of the 90 character string commences with either C1 or C2, signifying if the green card holder is a long-term permanent resident in the US (C1), or a permanent resident commuter from Canada or Mexico (C2). Subsequently, there are letters representing the country of residence, USA, followed by digits 3-5. The next set of digits, which is digits 6-15, is called the alien number.

The first three (3) letters in the series indicate which service center the residency case is based at.  Each center is as follows:

CSC – California Service Center

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

IOE – ELIS (efile)

LIN – Lincoln Service Center (now known as Nebraska Service Center)

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

NBC – National Benefits Center

NSC – Nebraska Service Center

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

TSC – Texas Service Center

VSC – Vermont Service Center

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

YSC – Potomac Service Center

The green card number comprises several elements. After the service center code, two digits indicate the fiscal year when the case was received. The U.S. government’s fiscal year starts from October 1 through September 30, so the fiscal year two-digit code may not match your calendar. For instance, if the case was received on November 5, 2021, the fiscal year two-digit code would be 22.

Following the fiscal year, there are three digits representing the computer workday of the year when the case was opened. The three digits may seem excessive for a weekday, but it accounts for all days in a year, less holidays and weekends. Hence, if your green card shows NBC 22 035, it indicates that the National Benefits Center received your case on the 35th workday of the 2022 fiscal year. The last five digits of the string represent your unique immigrant case number, which is the number of the approved case that led to your green card approval.

Together, these elements form the format of the green card number. For example, if the case number were 20131, the full green card number would be NBC2203520131.

On the second line of the green card, your birth date appears in YY/MM/DD format, followed by your gender, card expiration date in YY/MM/DD format, country of birth, and some placeholders. The third line contains your last name, first name, father’s first initial, mother’s first initial, and additional placeholders if required.

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