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USCIS Issues Updated M-274 – “Handbook for Employers”

A revised edition of “Handbook for Employers” or M-274 has been released by USCIS. This booklet is a critical and indispensable tool for employers to use when documenting the work authorization status of new and rehired employees as well as containing information for recruiters and referrers for a fee. Since 1986 when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), employers have been responsible for verifying work authorization documents for all US citizen and noncitizen hires. This booklet helps employers to fill out the required Form I-9 and explains how to examine the variety of documents an employee may present. In addition, the booklet guides employers about how to avoid charges of discrimination in the I-9 documentation process.

Some of the changes in the new edition include:
* New visual aids for completing Form I-9 * Examples of new relevant USCIS documents * Expanded guidance on lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylees, individuals in Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and exchange visitors and foreign students * Expanded guidance on the processing of employees in or porting to H1-B status and H2-A status * Expanded guidance on extensions of stay for employees with temporary employment authorization * information for employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) who must verify their employees’ employment authorization on Form I-9 CNMI and information about documents CNMI employers may accept from their employees.

I previously wrote a post in November 2010, I-9 Form Revisions Subject of USCIS Stakeholders Meeting, where USCIS solicited ideas from the public about improving the I-9 form. The notes of those meetings are now available on the USCIS website as the agency works toward revising the form.