I-9 Form Compliance: 5 Tips for Retaining and Storing the New Form

  • By: Matthew Burr
  • Date: September 04, 2017
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I-9 Form Compliance: 5 Tips for Retaining and Storing the New Form

A new version of the Form I-9 was introduced on January 22, 2017. Though the retention and storage requirements remained almost the same, changes to the revised form are designed to help HR professionals and employers complete it online and reduce technical errors.

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Basic Requirements of Form I-9

  • Filing an I-9 is mandatory for every new hire post November 6, 1986.
  • Employers cannot knowingly hire or continue to employ an individual who is not authorized to work in the US.
  • The physical presence of the employee is required while filing the I-9.
  • The employer must verify against original documents, not copies. The documents submitted for verification must be current and valid. However, a certified copy of birth certificate can also be accepted.
  • Photocopies of these documents must be attached to the I-9.
  • Temporary or part-time employees are not excluded from filing an I-9, while independent contractors and employees working outside the US are.

5 Tips for Retaining and Storing the New I-9 Form

  1. All current employees must have a Form I-9 on file. If the employee leaves, the employer needs to retain and store each form for either three years after the date of hire or one year after the termination date, whichever is later.
  2. The security of your employee’s information is always considered while storing their I-9 forms. Employers are free to store Forms I-9 and relevant document copies according to their organizational requirements- onsite, offsite, in a storage facility or even electronically. In case of a government official request for inspection, Forms I-9 must be available within 3 days.
  3. It is not required but is recommended to keep the copies of the worker’s identity documents, which can be helpful in the event of an inspection or audit.
  4. I-9 Forms should be stored away from personal files, health files and secured in a locked cabinet or drawer.
  5. Electronic storage of I-9 forms is far more complex. Some of the requirements for electronic storage include; system integrity, controls to prevent unauthorized access, a quality assurance program and a system to ensure audit controls are in place.

The I-9 Form has changed, ensure that the forms you are currently using now meet the federal requirements. Conducting an I-9 audit is necessary. Be proactive, ensure all information is secure and accurate. If you have questions ask for help, do not assume you have the answer.

Here are the links to the new I-9 form, and a complete list of storage requirements:

About the Author:

Matthew Burr has over nine years of experience working in the human resources field, starting his career as an industrial relations intern at Kennedy Valve Manufacturing to most recently founding and managing a human resource consulting company: Burr Consulting, LLC. Mr. Burr is an adjunct professor at Elmira College, teaching organizational behavior and human resources management. He is also a SHRM Certification Exam Instructor and co-teaches the SHRM Exam Prep Course at Elmira College. He works as a trainer at both Tompkins Cortland Community College and Corning Community College. He is also an on-call mediator and fact-finder through the Public Employment Relations Board in New York State.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect ComplianceOnline's editorial policy.

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