Your green card number is specific to you. The green card number is called your “receipt number” or “permanent resident number” or “USCIS case number” by USCIS, but they are all the same number. The green card number is a combination of 3 letters and 10 numbers which we will explain in more detail later. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses this 13 character code to keep track of your case.
The front of your green card is simple to read, but the back can be confusing. On the back of your green card, at the bottom, there is a combination of 90 characters, in three rows. Each row has 30 characters and these have meaning. The first row has your green card number within it. Finding the meaning in these 90 characters is possible if you know how to read them.
Your green card number is on the back of your green card at the bottom. It is located in the first row of numbers, letters and symbols you see.
Your green card number is characters 16 – 28 in this first row if you start counting from left to right.
It is important to know that the “<” (less-than) symbol is only a space and has no meaning. There are 2 “<” ( less-than) symbols, after your green card number to make space. Your green card number will begin with three capital letters like “CSC”, “VSC” or “NBC” and then 10 numbers will follow it.
This is only an example but your green card number might look like this: “VSC2219712345”. These numbers do have meaning which we will explain later. First, let’s go over the numbers listed in the first row before your green card number.
What are the 15 characters before my green card number?
Let’s quickly talk about the 15 characters before your green card number. These 15 characters are not your green card number, but they have meaning. The first thing you will see is either “C1” or “C2”.
“C1” means you are a long-term permanent resident living in the U.S.
“C2” means you are a permanent resident commuting from Mexico or Canada.
The next thing you see is “USA”, which means that the United States gave you your green card.
After these 3 letters, the next two characters show the fiscal year that USCIS began processing your application. The US government’s fiscal year goes from October 1st – September 30th (not January – December).
This means any case received between October 1st and December 31st will have what seems like the next year’s code on it. So if the Vermont Service Center received your green card application on November 1st of 2021, your green card number will begin “VSC22…”
After the fiscal year, there are 3 numbers which represent the workday in the year that your application started to be processed. This number is not taken from 365 possible days in a year, it is taken from the 260 (sometimes 261) possible workdays in a fiscal year. This is because the government subtracts holidays and weekends from 365 days.
So if your green card number is “VSC 22 197…”, your case was opened on the 197th workday in the fiscal year.
Immigrant Case Number
The remaining 5 characters are numbers that USCIS gave only to you. These numbers are your immigrant case number and were generated when your application was processed.
So, if we take each part of the example we’ve looked at so far it would be VSC2219712345.
VSC – Vermont Service Center
22 – 2022 Fiscal Year
197 – 197th work day in the fiscal year
12345 – Unique immigrant case number
These numbers don’t have spaces between them and will actually look like this: VSC2219712345.
Are There Other Names For A Green Card Number?
USCIS calls your green card number either your “receipt number” or your “permanent resident number”. These different names all refer to the same 13 character code.
Are My A-Number and My Green Card Number The Same?
No, your A-Number, or Alien Registration Number, and green card number are two different numbers. The Alien Registration Number is a 7, 8 or 9 digit number that the Department of Homeland Security assigns to non-citizens.
When Should I Use My Green Card Number?
It’s helpful to know your green card number because it will appear on most of the documents you receive from USCIS. You can also use your green card number to check your case status online if you’ve sent any other applications to USCIS.
What Are The Other Numbers On My Green Card?
On the back of your green card at the bottom there are two more rows of characters. The second row contains your date of birth in a year/month/date format, your gender, the expiration date of your green card in year/month/date format, your country of birth and “<”(less-than) symbols as spaces.
The third row contains your last name, first name, your father’s first initial, your mother’s first initial and more “<” (less-than) symbols as spaces.
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