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Revisions to the Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released a revised version of the Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274). The handbook includes expanded information on how to properly complete the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Updates include the following items, which provide clarification to correspond with the revisions in the Form I-9 Instructions:

• Clarification on who can serve as an authorized representative.

• Clarification 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.

• The employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security n List C of the List of Acceptable Documents does not include Form-766, Employment Authorization Document, from List A.

The following major guidance changes are also included in the revised version:

• Sections 4.4 and 6.4.2: Guidance clarifying 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: Revision of 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.

The revised version also includes the following new content:

• 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.

Finally, employers should be aware of the following clarifications contained in the revised M-274:

• 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.

If you have questions about changes to the I-9 Instructions or to the M-274, Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9, contact Amanda Bahena, immigration attorney.

April 29, 2020

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