The handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing Form I-9 has been updated. This handbook, also known as M-274, provides guidance on Form I-9, Everify, and verification procedures to assist employers. This update has been reorganized for clarity and simplicity. This new update provides new visual images to aid in completing Form I-9. It provides examples of appropriate documents and expands its guidance on:
- Exchange Visitors and Foreign Students in J, F and M students/visitors. Special instructions and pictures on how the I-9 should be completed for each status is included. The handbook also includes improved instructions for those switching to H-1B status and reiterates that an employer must update a student’s Form I-20.
- H-1B holders who wish to change employers can now begin work immediately upon filing of their application. They do not have to wait for Form I-797 receipt notice from the USCIS. The submission date and “AC-21” should be indicated in the margin of Form I-9.
- Employee name change updates on Form I-9s are not required although it is suggested.
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) – sample images of Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and instructions on expiration dates are included. Please note that a TPS beneficiary may continue to work after their expiration date if the Federal government has temporarily extended the validity date of the EAD through a notice published in the Federal Register.
- Refugees and Asylees re-verification procedures are also explained. Information on when Refugees and Asylees may use an expired EAD to complete I-9 is included.
- A retention calculator has been added to assist employers with determining maintenance of terminated employee’s I-9 form. Guidelines are now provided on electronic I-9 storage.
- Extensions of stay for Employees with Employment Authorization -Guidance is provided on when employees are eligible to continue working for 240 days beyond their work authorization expiration as long as an extension of status was timely filed and the application remains pending. Employers also receive clarification on how to complete I-9 forms and supporting documentation for employees who have filed extensions.
- Interruptions of employment are clarified to include an accepted list of situations that qualify as “continuing employment” (leave of absence, maternity leave, etc.), which do not require a new Form I-9 so long as the employee maintains “a reasonable expectation of employment.”
- Expanded Question and Answer Section which discusses correcting a mistake on a Form I-9, not leaving blank fields, acquisition of a workforce, maintaining security and privacy, and numerous other topics.
There are numerous changes to be aware of and certain benefits which may be advantageous to your organization. To ensure that you remain in compliance, I-9 reviewers should review the handbook and contact Robinson Kirlew & Associates with any questions.