New passport card acceptable in Form I-9 process

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is informing the public that the new U.S. Passport Card may be used to verify employment eligibility in the Form I-9 process.

The new passport card was created as a less expensive and more portable alternative to the traditional passport book. Its purpose is to speed up document processing at U.S. land and sea ports of entry for U.S. citizens traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.

While the card may not be used for international air travel, it is a valid passport certifying U.S. citizenship and the card holder’s identity. The new passport card may be used to verify work eligibility in the Form I-9 process and employers participating in the E-Verify program.

The passport card is classified under “List A” documents to prove the identity and work eligibility of a newly hired employee when completing the I-9 form. Review the lists of acceptable and unacceptable documents new hires may use to verify work eligibility.

In related news, the House of Representatives passed the Employee Verification Amendment Act of 2008 on July 31, that would extend the federal E-Verify program for five years.

The act includes a provision that would authorize two Government Accountability Office studies to investigate the impact of the program on small businesses.

The bill continues through to the Senate, but no action is expected until September when legislators return from their August recess.

Read more about the E-Verify extension.

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