USCIS released on April 27, 2020 a revised M-274, Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9, with expanded information on properly completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Revisions include updates based on the recent Form I-9 release, as well as policy changes and clarifications.
Summary of Changes
The purpose of this document is to outline significant changes made to the M-274, Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9.
Updates Based on Form I-9 Revision 10/21/2019
- Section 2.0: Clarified who can serve as an authorized representative to correspond with revisions in the Form I-9 Instructions.
- Section 12.0: Clarified that the second List B document in the List of Acceptable Documents does not include the driver’s license or ID card issued by a state or outlying possession of the United States to correspond with revisions in the Form I-9 Instructions.
- Section 12.0: Clarified that the employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security in List C of the List of Acceptable Documents does not include Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document, from List A to correspond with revisions in the Form I-9 Instructions.
Major Guidance Changes
- Sections 4.4 and 6.4.2: Revised guidance to clarify that employers should enter expiration date changes based on automatic extensions of documents in the Additional Information field in Section 2 and eliminated instructions to have the employee cross out and initial information in the “Alien authorized to work until” expiration date field in
- Section 1. This ensures greater legibility during Form I-9 inspections.
- Section 6.4.2: Revised cap-gap extension document requirements to better align with regulations. Employers will enter the receipt number from Form I-797C, Notice of Action as the employee’s Document Number in Section 2. Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, is no longer required.
- Section 4.4: How to complete Form I-9 with EADs automatically extended by Federal Register notices.
- Section 6.2: Guidance on verifying employment authorization for Native American employees born in Canada.
- Section 7.1: Guidance for state employment agencies that choose to complete Form I-9 for individuals they refer and for employers of individuals referred by a state employment agency.
- Section 3.0: The purpose of the Preparer/Translator Supplement.
- Section 6.4.1: Determining the document expiration date that F-1 and J-1 nonimmigrant employees should enter in the Section 1 “Alien authorized to work until” expiration date field.
- Section 9.0-9.2: How to calculate Form I-9 retention, retention guidelines, and electronic Form I-9 requirements.
- Section 10: A review of prohibited Form I-9 practices and penalties and the agencies responsible for enforcement.
Plain Language Updates
- Removed duplicate content.
- Merged certain sections for better logic flow.
- Sections 5 and 6 merged in Section 5; subsequent chapters renumbered.
- Section 13.0: Incorporated questions and answers into the body of the Handbook whenever practicable to comply with new USCIS style requirements.