The INA specifically authorizes DHS, IER and DOL to inspect Forms I-9, including any copies of employees’ documents retained with the corresponding Form I-9. DHS, IER, and DOL provide employers a minimum of three days’ notice before inspecting a retained Form I-9. The employer must make Forms I-9 available upon request at the location where DHS, IER or DOL requests to see them. Forms I-9 and supporting documentation may also be sent to the agency in electronic format or hard copy if requested.
If you store Form I-9 records at an off-site location, inform the inspecting officer of the location where you store them and make arrangements for the inspection. The inspecting officers may perform an inspection at an office of an authorized agency of the United States if previous arrangements are made. Recruiters or referrers for a fee who designate an employer to complete employment verification procedures may present photocopies or printed electronic images of Forms I-9 at an inspection. If you refuse or delay an inspection, you will be in violation of DHS retention requirements.
At the time of an inspection, you must:
- Retrieve and reproduce only the Forms I-9 electronically retained in the electronic storage system and supporting documentation specifically requested by the inspecting officer. Supporting documentation includes photocopies of Form I-9 documents stored with Form I-9 and associated audit trails that show the actions performed within or on the system during a given period of time.
- Provide the inspecting officer with appropriate hardware and software, personnel, and documentation necessary to locate, retrieve, read, and reproduce any electronically stored Form I-9, any supporting documents, and their associated audit trails, reports, and other data used to maintain the authenticity, integrity, and reliability of the records.
- Provide the inspecting officer, if requested, any reasonably available or obtainable electronic summary file(s), such as spreadsheets, containing all of the information fields on any electronically stored Form I-9.
Note: E-Verify employers who receive a request for inspection should provide Form I-9 with the E-Verify case verification number record on the Form I-9 or, if the E-Verify case number is not recorded on the Form I-9, the E-Verify Case Detail Pages in addition to Form I-9.