Here’s the scenario: A potential employee presents documents as verification of the ability to work in the United States. I-9 paperwork is being completed and the individual supplies a Permanent Resident Card (a/k/a Green Card) as a List A document. You examine the card to determine if it is facially valid and notice that there is no signature on the card!

Wait! Before you reject the card as unacceptable, you need to be aware that USCIS can waive signature requirements when:

1. a card is issued to a child under the age of consent at that time; and
2. an individual is physically unable to provide a signature.

Also, as of February 2015, USCIS started waiving the signature requirements for people “entering the United States for the first time as lawful permanent residents after obtaining an immigrant visa abroad from a U.S. Embassy or consulate.”

When these exceptions occur, the Green Card will demonstrate this fact by having “Signature Waived” printed under the photo on the front side and to the right of the miniature photo on the back side. Here is the announcement from USCIS complete with an exemplar.

Pay close attention to this example, for as strange as it sounds, you must ignore that the photo is of a very youthful looking individual with a birth year of 1954 in 2015!

Understanding these changes can keep you compliant with the law as you verify your employees’ ability to work.

Please call on your friends at Woods Rogers with any questions you might have.