Beginning October 1, 2010, if an employee presents a certified copy of a Puerto Rico birth certificate as a List C (employment authorization) document for Form I-9, you must ensure the certified copy was issued on or after July 1, 2010. Individuals born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens. Because of a new law in Puerto Rico, certified copies of birth certificates that are issued before July 1, 2010, are invalid. The Vital Statistics Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico began issuing new, more secure certificates on July 1. According to a press release from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, if an employee has already gone through the I-9 process using an older certified copy of a Puerto Rico birth certificate, you shouldn’t reopen the process. Also, if you are only reverifying employment eligibility and the employee before July 1, 2010, had showed you a certified copy of a Puerto Rico birth certificate that was valid at that time, then you shouldn’t ask for a newer copy. If you complete a new Form-I-9 on or after October 1, 2010, however, then any certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates must show that they were issued on or after July 1, 2010. For more information on the I-9 process, see our Legal Guide, “At a Glance: Form I-9” (5486)
This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult Vigilant or legal counsel.