Acceptability of Machine Readable Immigrant Visa as I-9 document
Issue: For I-9 purposes, a new hire has presented an unexpired foreign passport with a Machine Readable Immigrant Visa (MRIV). It does not have a temporary I-551 "stamp" but rather contains temporary I-551 language that has been endorsed with an admission stamp by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Is this an acceptable I-9 document?
Answer:     Yes, as long as the admission stamp has not expired. All MRIVs issued by U.S. Embassies and U.S. Consulates on or after June 28, 2004, include the following statement immediately below the bearer's photograph: "UPON ENDORSEMENT SERVES AS TEMPORARY I-551 EVIDENCING PERMANENT RESIDENCE FOR 1 YEAR."

Each MRIV is examined by a Department of Homeland Security officer at the bearer's Port of Entry. After determining that a bearer should be admitted to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident, the DHS officer places an admission stamp on the upper portion of the MRIV, with part of the stamp overlapping the adjoining page (just above the bearer's photograph). When this occurs, the bearer is admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident and the MRIV qualifies as a Form I-9 List A #4 document that is valid until one year from the date of the DHS endorsement.

As with the traditional temporary I-551 stamp contained in an unexpired foreign passport, employers must reverify the work authorization of employees who present properly endorsed MRIVs no later than the expiration date of the temporary I-551. In the case of the new MRIVs, the expiration date is one year from the date of the DHS endorsement.

Source: USCIS Employer Information Bulletin 113, July 26, 2004.
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