Revised M-274 Handbook for Employers Now Available

In a news release dated April 28th, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department (USCIS) announced that an updated version of the M-274, Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 is has been published. The M-274 provides employers with detailed guidance for completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Summary of M-274 Changes

 The following are some of the significant changes included within the M-274 Handbook:

  • Updates Based the Form I-9 Revision (10/21/2019) – These include clarifications of acceptable authorization documents included in List B and List C, and further clarification into who can serve as an employee’s authorized representative.
  • Major Guidance Changes – Clarifies how employers should enter documentation expiration date changes and revises cap-gap extension documentation requirements.
  • New Content – Includes new rules on how to complete a Form I-9 with automatically extended Employment Authorization Document Cards; verifying employment authorizations for Native American employees born in Canada; and new guidance specifically created for state employment agencies.
  • Other Clarifications – An explanation into the purpose of the Preparer/Translator Supplement; determining “Alien authorized to work until” document expiration dates; and a review of prohibited Form I-9 practices.

The updates to the M-274 coincides with the effective date of the recently revised Form I-9. Beginning May 1st, 2020, employers are required to use the latest edition of the Form I-9 to verify employment eligibility for newly hired individuals. The new form has a date of 10/21/19 in the lower left corner, and an expiration date of 10/31/2022 in the upper right corner.

Until April 30th, employers could use the previous version of the Form I-9 without penalty. Going forward, however, any employer who uses the outdated form can be subject to investigations and fines.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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