Impact of Invalid Puerto Rico Birth Certificates on I-9 Process

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Impact of Invalid Puerto Rico Birth Certificates on I-9 Process

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The Vital Statistics Office in Puerto Rico started issuing new, more secure certified copies of birth certificates to U.S. citizens born in Puerto Rica on July 1, 2010, due to a new birth certificate law in Puerto Rico.  After September 30, 2010, all certified copies of birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010, will be invalid.  This new law only affects the validity of certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates; it does not affect the U.S. citizenship status of individuals born in Puerto Rico.

With this change, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) explain how the law will impact the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process.  Until September 30, 2010, all certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates are acceptable for the purposes of Form I-9.  However, beginning October 1, 2010, only certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates issued on or after July 1, 2010 are acceptable for Form I-9.  If an employee presents for List C on Form I-9 a birth certificate issued by the Vital Statistics Office of Puerto Rico, USCIS reports that the employer must look at the date the certified copy of the certificate was issued to ensure its validity.

As for existing employers, there is no need to re-verify the employment eligibility of existing employees, who at the time of employment may have presented a certified copy of a Puerto Rico birth certificate for I-9 purposes.

For more information and to read about the effects on Federal Contractors and the retention of documents with Form I-9, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=45e3285ca77fa210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=c94e6d26d17df110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD

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