USCIS Releases Revised M-274, Employer Handbook

January 12, 2011

Cox Smith Immigration and International Trade E-Alert

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Releases Revised M-274, The Handbook for Employers

On January 5, 2011, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a newly revised version of the M-274 Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing Form I-9, on their public website, which is located at

This latest revision of the M-274 includes many changes from the prior version (rev. April 3, 2009), including, but not limited to, the following:

  • No index, but a more detailed Table of Contents;
  • Detailed explanations of how to reverify and record evidence of status for certain categories, including lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylees, temporary protected status, exchange visitors and students, H-1B, H-2A, and other nonimmigrant categories where extensions of stay have been filed;
  • Instructions on how to record name changes for current employees;
  • Instructions on how to deal with interruptions of employments, such as leaves of absence, layoffs, corporate mergers; and
  • Updated instructions on electronic I-9 completion, signature, and retention.

The USCIS has also included some new List A sample document images, including:

  • The newly redesigned permanent resident card, which has been in circulation since May 11, 2010;
  • The redesigned back of the employment authorization document, which includes a machine-readable strip;
  • A sample Form I-20;
  • A sample Form DS-2019; and
  • List A documents that are acceptable in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to establish identity and work authorization.

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