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Form I-9 regulations allow employers to choose whether or not to keep copies of documentation employees submit to complete Form I-9. Therefore, you may choose to begin or end the practice of keeping copies of documentation at any time, as long as you do so for all employees, regardless of national origin or citizenship status, or you may be in violation of anti-discrimination laws.

You should not shred previously retained copies of documents. DHS regulations provide that once copies of documents are made, they must be retained with the Forms I-9 or with the employee’s records.

Additionally, if you participate in E-Verify and the employee presented a document used as part of Photo Matching, currently the U.S. passport and passport card, Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) and the Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766), you must retain a photocopy of the document he or she presented and continue to retain a photocopies of these documents if presented by new hires.  

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
03/21/2014