• I-9 Central and Updated Form I-9 Handbook for Employers (M-274)
  • October 11, 2011
  • Law Firm: Jackson Lewis LLP - White Plains Office
  • In May, USCIS launched “I-9 Central,” a new web portal dedicated to providing employers and employees a one-stop shop for resources, tips and guidance to properly complete the Form I-9 and better understand the Form I-9 process. The portal contains step-by-step instructions for completing the form, information on acceptable documents for establishing identity and employment authorization, sections about employer and employee rights and responsibilities, common mistakes to avoid when completing the form, guidance on how to correct errors, and answers to employers’ frequently asked questions.

    Warning: the portal has a long way to go before it could be described as accurate. For example, the advice on correcting/mitigating I-9 errors is flawed. Mitigation and correction of I-9 errors is the most difficult part of the I-9 process and more often than not we see this process incorrectly completed, making I-9 compliance an even bigger problem.

    The USCIS still publishes the M-274 Employer Handbook, which is available on-line.  The most recent edition (June 1, 2011) includes minor changes from the January 2011 version, including updated guidance on entering names, and additional document examples and information on completing I-9s for temporary protected status (TPS) employees, asylees, refugees, and others. The M-274 has its flaws, but it is a handy reference for basic situations.