The fastest way to get proof you are authorized to work may be to get a U.S. passport.
Q. I lost my California driver’s license and an employer told me that my naturalization certificate isn’t enough to prove that I am authorized to work. What do I do?
Barbara, by email
A. Your fastest way to get proof you are authorized to work may be to get a U.S. passport. With a naturalization certificate, you need also a state-issued identity document to prove employment authorization. The instructions for the I-9 employment verification form provide a list of acceptable documents. A U.S. passport proves employment authorization without the need for an additional document. You can get a passport more quickly than a new green card.
Since 1987, the law has required U.S. employers to verify employment authorization for new employees. The rules for carrying out these laws change often. You can get free, confidential advice about the employment authorization rules by calling the Department of Justice Immigrant and Employee Rights Section at 800-255-7688. You can also get help there if an employer is unlawfully discriminating against you because of your immigration status. Employers who have questions about how to comply with what we call “employer sanctions” laws can call 800-255-8155.
Q. I am under a deportation order because I failed to appear at my deportation hearing. Is it safe for me to travel abroad with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services permission? I am here with Temporary Protective Status for nationals of El Salvador. I am married to a U.S. citizen and hope that after returning legally I can apply for my green card.
B.A.N., New York
A. Before you travel, it is best if you apply to the immigration court to reopen your case, asking the judge to close or terminate the deportation order. Otherwise, you may have a hard time getting your green card. Even if you travel with USCIS permission, called advance parole, USCIS may decide that you “self-deported.” Then you may need to apply to USCIS for special permission to get a green card. The law on this issue is not clear, but getting your deportation case terminated is the safest approach.
Send questions and comments to Allan Wernick, New York Daily News, 4 New York Plaza, New York, NY 10004 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @awernick.