All U.S. employers, regardless of size, are required to complete Form I-9 for each employee who began work after 1986. The employee completes the top section of the form, and the employer, after viewing the employee’s documentation showing their eligibility to work, completes the bottom section of the form. Civil monetary penalties are imposed for failure to complete an I-9. Completed Form I-9’s must be retained for three years after the hire date or one year after the termination date, whichever is later.
The Department of Homeland Security has mandated these rules:
- Employers must complete a Form I-9 within three business (not calendar) days
- Employers may use paper, electronic systems, or a combination of both
- Employers may change electronic storage systems as long as the systems meet the performance requirements of the regulations
- Employers need not retain audit trails of each time a Form I-9 is electronically viewed, but only when the Form I-9 is created, completed, updated, modified, altered, or corrected
- Employers may provide or transmit a confirmation of a Form I-9 transaction, but are not required to do so unless the employee requests a copy.