Effects of Invalid Puerto Rico Birth Certificates on the Form I-9 Process
WASHINGTON—On July 1, 2010, the Vital Statistics Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico began issuing new, more secure certified copies of birth certificates to U.S. citizens born in Puerto Rico because of a new Puerto Rico birth certificate law. After Sept. 30, 2010, all certified copies of birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010, will become invalid. This new law does not affect the U.S. citizenship status of individuals born in Puerto Rico. It only affects the validity of certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates.
How will this law impact the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process?
Employers must not re-verify the employment eligibility of existing employees who presented a certified copy of a Puerto Rico birth certificate for Form I-9 purposes and whose employment eligibility was verified on Form I-9 prior to Oct. 1, 2010.
Employers awarded a federal contract that contains the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause have special Form I-9 rules for the verification of existing employees.
How will this law affect the retention of documents with Form I-9?
The new law prohibits Puerto Rico employers from keeping original certified copies of birth certificates issued in Puerto Rico but allows employers to keep photocopies of these documents. Employers who choose to make photocopies of documents their employees present when completing Form I-9 must do so for all employees, regardless of national origin or citizenship status.
For more information about Form I-9, visit www.uscis.gov. More information about birth certificates issued in Puerto Rico can be found at www.prfaa.com/birthcertificates and www.prfaa.com/certificadosdenacimiento