HR News

Revised M-274, Handbook for Employers is Now Available

Hey Compliance Warriors!

USCIS released 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.

We will be doing a detailed webinar on May 8th. More information to come. See the Home page for details. Read on…

Summary of Changes

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.

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.

Major Clarifications

  • 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.


Lisa Smith is CEO of Andere Corporation and Chief Content Developer at HelpDeskSuites.com. Follow her on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn, listen to her Small Business Spoonfuls Podcast, and find more in her Compliance Warriors Facebook Group.

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