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On April 14, 2011, in an effort to improve the integrity of the verification process, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (”USCIS”) announced a final rule that changes the types of documents an employer can accept as proof of identity and employment authorization during the Employment Eligibility Verification process. The rule takes effect May 16, 2011.
Employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of their employees by completing a Form I-9, or an Employment Eligibility Verification form. The government provides lists of approved documents that an employer can accept from the employee to prove their identity and eligibility to work.
By this final rule, USCIS added some documents and removed others. For example, the new rule now prohibits employers from accepting “Temporary Resident Cards” or “Employment Authorization Cards” because USCIS no longer issues them. It also adds the new U.S. passport card to the list of documents acceptable to prove both identity and employment authorization. The rule also prohibits employers from accepting expired documents even if they are on the approved documents lists.