Make sure Payroll knows the latest on what to look for when examining new employees’ documents for Form I-9 purposes.
Recently, USCIS extended the validity of Permanent Resident Cards employees may present for I-9 purposes. As of Sept. 26, 2022, the cards are now valid for 24 months (instead of 12 months) for any lawful permanent residents who have completed Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.
Anyone who’s just filed Form I-90 will receive Form I-797, which is a receipt notice indicating the automatic 24-month extension. Employees with pending applications will also receive an amended notice with the extended deadline before their initial 12-month extension ends.
When presenting an expiring Permanent Resident Card for I-9 verification purposes, employees should also present this receipt indicating they’ve applied to renew their card and have been granted the automatic extension. This makes the card a valid List A document.
Note that it’s not necessary to reverify any employees who presented a Permanent Resident Card and a receipt notice when the original 12-month extension was in place.
Beware of restricted Social Security cards
USCIS is also reminding employers to be on the lookout for issues with employees’ Social Security cards when presented as Form I-9 documentation. Per the Handbook for Employers (M-274), a Social Security card with any of the following verbiage is restricted and can’t be used for verification purposes:
- VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION
- NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT
- VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION
Be sure to remind Payroll to inspect Social Security cards carefully. If an employee presents a restricted Social Security card, they’ll have to present another document from List C or a document from List A for employment verification instead.
I-9 flexibility changes
And as a reminder, employers can no longer accept expired List B documents for employment verification. Expired documents were initially allowed between May 1, 2020, and April 30, 2022, as a flexibility provision due to issues with in-person renewals caused by the COVID pandemic. (Forms I-9 for any employees hired during this time had to be updated by July 31, 2022.)
Now that these restrictions have eased, employees must present unexpired, valid List B documents for verification.
Remote I-9 document inspection is also set to end on Oct. 31, 2022, though the Dept. of Homeland Security is currently seeking comments on creating guidelines to revisit this flexibility down the line.