New Rules for I-9 Verifications Involving Puerto Rico Birth Certificates

In July, 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 the territory.  Any certified copies of birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010 will become invalid at the end of September and cannot be used to verify employment authorization.  The new law does not affect the citizenship status of individuals born in Puerto Rico.

Therefore, through September 30, 2010, all certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates can be accepted for new employee I-9 verification.  After that time, only certified copies issued on or after July 1, 2010 can be accepted.  Employers do not need to re-verify the eligibility of existing employees who presented a certified copy of a Puerto Rico birth certificate prior to October 1, 2010. 

For more information on the effects of Puerto Rico Birth Certificates, click here.