When completing I-9 employment eligibility forms, employers need to be mindful of recent changes to the issuance of birth certificates in Puerto Rico, says the Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).

On July 1, in response to a new birth certificate law in the territory, 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. The new law does not affect the U.S. citizenship status of individuals born in Puerto Rico but does affect what is a valid identification document for I-9 employment verification purposes.

All certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates, regardless of date, are acceptable for I-9 purposes through October 30. After that, all certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010, will become invalid. Beginning October 31, only certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates issued after July 1 are acceptable for I-9

verification, says CIS.

Employers should not reverify the employment eligibility of existing employees who presented a certified copy of a Puerto Rico birth certificate and whose employment eligibility was verified on Form I-9 prior to Oct. 31, 2010.

For more information: www.prfaa.com/birthcertificates/