13.1 List A Documents That Establish Identity and Employment Authorization

13.1 List A Documents That Establish Identity and Employment Authorization

The illustrations provided do not necessarily reflect the actual size of the documents.

U.S. Passport

The U.S. Department of State issues the U.S. passport to U.S. citizens and noncitizen nationals. There are a small number of versions still in circulation that may differ from the main versions shown here.

Current U.S. Passport cover and open
Current US Passport Cover
Current US Passport Open
Older U.S. Passport cover and open
Older US Passport Cover
Current US Passport Open
 

U.S. Passport Card

The U.S. Department of State began producing the passport card in July 2008. The passport card is a wallet- size card that can only be used for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

Passport Card front and back
US Passport Card Front
US Passport Card Back
 

Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)

On May 1, 2017 USCIS began issuing a redesigned Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551 (also known as the “Green Card”). The card contains the bearer’s photo on the front and back, name, USCIS number, date of birth, card expiration date and laser engraved fingerprint. The new card does not have a signature or an optical stripe on the back. Some Permanent Resident Cards issued after May, 1 2017 may display the previous design format. Both the new and previous versions of the Permanent Resident Card remain valid until the expiration date shown on the card.

Current Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) front and back
Current Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) Front
Current Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) Back
 

The previous version of the Permanent Resident Card was issued after April 30, 2010.This redesign changed the card color to green. The card is personalized with the bearer’s photo, name, USCIS number, alien registration number, date of birth, and laser-engraved fingerprint, as well as the card expiration date. Note that on the card, shown below, the lawful permanent resident’s alien registration number, commonly known as the A number, is found under the USCIS # heading. The A number is also located on the back of the card.

These cards may or may not contain a signature. A signature is not required for the card to be acceptable for Form I-9 purposes.

Previous version Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) front and back
Previous version Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) Front
Previous version Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) Back

Another older version of the Permanent Resident Card shows the DHS seal and contains a detailed hologram on the front of the card. Each card is personalized with an etching showing the bearer’s photo, name, fingerprint, date of birth, alien registration number, card expiration date, and card number.

Also in circulation are older Resident Alien cards, issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, which do not have expiration dates and are valid indefinitely. These cards are peach in color and contain the bearer’s fingerprint and photograph.

Older version Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) front and back
Older version Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) Front
Older version Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) Back
 

Foreign Passport with I-551 Stamp or MRIV

USCIS uses either an I-551 stamp or a temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV) to denote temporary evidence of lawful permanent residence. Sometimes, if no foreign passport is available, USCIS will place the I-551 stamp on a Form I-94 and affix a photograph of the bearer to the form. This document is considered a receipt.

Unexpired Foreign Passport with I-551 Stamp                           I-551 Stamp
Unexpired Foreign Passport with I-551 Stamp
I-551 Stamp
 

The temporary Form I-551 MRIV is evidence of permanent resident status for one year from the date of admission.

Temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV)
Temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV)
 

Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)

On May 1, 2017 USCIS began issuing a redesigned Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) EAD to certain individuals with temporary employment authorization to work in the United States. The card contains the bearer’s photograph on the front and back, name, USCIS number, card number, date of birth, laser-engraved fingerprint, and the card expiration date. Cards may contain one of the following notations above the expiration date: “Not Valid for Reentry to U.S.”, “Valid for Reentry to U.S.” or “Serves as I-512 Parole.”

Some EADs issued after May 1, 2017, may still display the previous design format. Both the existing and new EADs will remain valid until the expiration date shown on the card.

Current Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) with notation “NOT VALID FOR REENTRY TO U.S.” front and back
Current Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) with notation “NOT VALID FOR REENTRY TO U.S.” Front
Current Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) with notation “NOT VALID FOR REENTRY TO U.S.” Back

The older version of the Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)  contains the bearer’s photograph, fingerprint, card number, Alien number, birth date, and signature, along with a holographic film and the DHS seal. The expiration date is located at the bottom of the card. Cards may contain one of the following notations above the expiration date: “Not Valid for Reentry to U.S.”, “Valid for Reentry to U.S.” or “Serves as I-512 Advance Parole.”

Previous version Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)
Previous version Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) Front
Previous version Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) Back
 

Form I-20 Accompanied by Form I-94 or Form I-94A

Form I-94 or Form I-94A for F-1 nonimmigrant students must be accompanied by a Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Students, endorsed with employment authorization by the designated school official for curricular practical training. USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) to all students (F-1 and M-1) authorized for optional practical training (OPT).

Form I-20 Accompanied by Form I-94 or Form I-94A
Form I-20 Sample 2
Form I-20
 
See Form I-94 below.

Form DS-2019 Accompanied by Form I-94 or Form I-94A

Nonimmigrant exchange visitors (J-1) must have a Form I-94 or Form I-94A accompanied by an unexpired Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, issued by the U .S. Department of State, that specifies the sponsor. J-1 exchange students also need a letter from their responsible officer authorizing their employment.

DS-2019 Accompanied by Form I-94 or Form I-94A
Form DS-2019
 
See Form I-94 below.

Form I-94 or Form I-94A Arrival/Departure Record

CBP and sometimes USCIS issue arrival-departure records to nonimmigrants. This document indicates the bearer’s immigration status, the date that the status was granted, and when the status expires. The immigration status notation within the stamp on the card varies according to the status granted, for example, L-1, F-1, J-1. Form I-94 can contain a handwritten date and status or be computer-generated. Form I-94A has a computer- generated date and status. Both may be presented with documents that Form I-9 specifies are valid only when Form I-94 or Form I-94A also is presented, such as the foreign passport, Form DS-2019, or Form I-20.

Form I-9 provides space for you to record the document number and expiration date for both the passport and Form I-94 or Form I-94A.

Electronic Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
Electronic Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
 
Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
Form I-94
Form I-94A Arrival/Departure Record
Form I-94A Arrival/Departure Record
 

Passport of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands

2003, Compacts of Free Association (CFA) between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) were amended to allow citizens of these countries to work in the United States without obtaining an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766).

For Form I-9 purposes, citizens of these countries may present FSM or RMI passports accompanied by a Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the CFA, which are acceptable documents under List A. The exact notation on Form I-94 or Form I-94A may vary and is subject to change. The notation on Form I-94 or Form I-94A typically states “CFA/FSM” for an FSM citizen and “CFA/MIS” for an RMI citizen.

Passport of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands
Passport of the Federated States of Micronesia
Passport of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
 
Last Reviewed/Updated:

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