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On January 22, 2017, it became mandatory for employers to use the revised version of Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification Form. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published the updated M-274, Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9, which offers detailed guidance for employers completing Form I-9.

This updated Handbook for Employers additionally:

  • Captures policy and regulatory changes since 2013
  • Is written in plain language, so that it is easier to understand
  • Includes a streamlined questions and answers section
  • Features updated tables, new figures, and more current sample documents
  • Explains guidance regarding automatic extensions for certain Employment Authorization Documents I-9s are required for all newly hired and re-hired employees.

I-9s are required for all newly hired and re-hired employees. Employers who violate the law are subject to civil fines, criminal penalties, and debarment from government contracts. Failing to comply with verification requirements carries penalties of up to $2,156 per form.

Changes and updates to Form I-9 include:

  • The ability to complete the I-9 electronically
  • Instructions on providing email addresses (new to the form)
  • Requirements when using a designee to complete the form
  • Examples of how to use the “Additional Information” section
  • Instructions on updating forms when receipts were used as an original document
  • An extensive new section on Automatic Extensions of Employment (EAD)
  • Use of Native American Tribal documents
  • Employer responsibilities when providing practical training to STEM OPT students
  • Rules on reverification
  • How to correct errors

In addition to the Handbook for Employers, the Table of Changes for Revised M-274 is a quick reference table that highlights all changes to the new form and verification process

.