The USCIS released an updated Form I-9 on March 8, 2013, and a revised employer handbook (Form M-274) in March 2013. Recently, the USCIS released a revised employer handbook. It is available athttp://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/m-274.pdf. Among the changes are the following:

  1. The USCIS added guidance regarding full legal names and other names that an employee has used in the past.
  2. The USCIS confirmed common abbreviations for document titles and issuing authorities may be used in section 2 of the I-9.
  3. The USCIS, for the first time, stated that employers may accept a laminated social security card as long as the card reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting it. However, the Social Security Administration ("SSA") still advises cardholders not to laminate social security cards.

The revised employer handbook is a valuable resource for those who have questions about the Form I-9 process and provides useful examples on how to complete the Form I-9 in commonly encountered situations. Where this handbook is not helpful, however, we are available to assist you in this increasingly complicated and important compliance area.