On July 1, 2010, Puerto Rico began issuing new, more secure certified birth certificates to US citizens born in Puerto Rico. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has indicated that after September 30, 2010 all certified copies of birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010 will become invalid. The USCIS confirmed that this change does not affect the U.S. citizenship status of individuals born in Puerto Rico. However, it does affect the validity of the Puerto Rican birth certificates.
As part of the Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification process, employers are required to verify the employment eligibility of their workers within three days of hire. The USCIS confirmed that all certified copies of Puerto Rican birth certificates are acceptable for Form I-9 purposes through September 30, 2010. However, beginning on October 1, 2010, employers may only accept Puerto Rican birth certificatesdated on or after July 1, 2010 and that employers must look at the date on the birth certificate to ensure that it is still valid. The USCIS warned that employers must not re-verify the employment eligibility of existing employees who presented a certified copy of a Puerto Rican birth certificate for Form I-9 purposes and whose employment eligibility was verified on Form I-9 prior to October 1, 2010 (unless the employer is required to re-verify employment eligibility as part of the E-Verify FAR requirements).