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Retaining Form I-9

Employers must have a completed Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, on file for each person on their payroll (or otherwise receiving remuneration) who is required to complete the form. Employers must also keep completed Forms I-9 for a certain amount of time after their employees stop working for them. Never mail Forms I-9 to USCIS or ICE.

Once an employee no longer works for the employer, the employer must determine how much longer to keep the employee’s Form I-9. 

Retaining Form I-9

To calculate how long to keep an employee’s Form I-9, enter the following:

1.  Date the employee began work for pay1. ________________________
      A.  Add three years to the date on line 1.     A. ______________________
2.  The date employment was terminated2.  _______________________
     B.  Add one year to the date on line 2.      B.  _____________________
3.  Which date is later; A or B?3.  _______________________
      C.  Enter the later date.     C. _____________________

The employer must retain Form I-9 until the date on Line C.

The employer is required to retain the page of the form on which the employer and the employee entered data. If copies of documents presented by your employees are made, those too should be kept with Forms I-9.

You may also retain the instructions and Lists of Acceptable Documents pages. Forms I-9 may be stored on paper, microfilm, microfiche or electronically.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/28/2015