The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a means that employers can now accept as proof of identity and work authorization. This policy change allows employees to provide a receipt notice from an application for naturalization (Form N-400) when presented with an expired permanent resident card, otherwise known as a green card. The USCIS proposed this change after a listening session with customers. It is part of the USCIS’s efforts to streamline immigration processing and get more lawful permanent residents to naturalize.
This policy lets lawful permanent residents who apply for naturalization avoid replacing their permanent resident card if it expires. Before this change, anyone with an expired naturalization card had to file a new application. In addition, the individual had to pay the USCIS a filing fee to replace the card. The USCIS required this step despite the applicant having to turn in the card at the naturalization ceremony.
In some cases, the USCIS would adjudicate the application for naturalization. This step happens before the application to replace the permanent resident card. In this case, the person would not receive the new card. Instead, the USCIS would inform the applicant of the denied request to replace the card. This denial often happened because the applicant did not count as a lawful permanent resident.
Before making this change, the USCIS required applicants to apply for naturalization a minimum of six months before the expiration date of their green card. If applicants failed to do so, they had to file an Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90). This requirement allowed applicants to gather adequate documentation of their lawful status. Applicants who applied for naturalization six or more months before the expiration date became eligible to have their passports stamped as a temporary means to prove their lawful permanent resident status. This stamp is known as an Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunications (ADIT).
This policy will alter the language on the naturalization receipt notice to extend the validity of expired permanent resident cards. It will also apply to any naturalization applicants who currently have expired cards. The naturalization receipt does not require updated language.
Employers will encounter these and many other changes going into 2023. Unfortunately, these changes may present new and increasingly difficult challenges. As such, now may be the time to consider investing in an electronic I-9 management tool. This tool can provide step-by-step guidance for hiring personnel, helping ensure uniform compliance with every Form I-9, even as the process changes. In addition, the tool will secure storage for forms and documentation.
When it comes to your employees, automation makes eligibility verification quick and simple. Ensure compliance today with I-9 Compliance.