4.1 Retaining Copies of Documents Your Employee Presents
You may make copies (or electronic images) of the documentation you reviewed, but must return original documentation to the employee. If you make copies, they should be made consistently for all new hires and reverified employees, regardless of national origin, citizenship, or immigration status, or you may violate anti-discrimination laws.
Employers participating in E-Verify are required to retain a copy of certain documents if the employee chooses to present them. These documents include the U.S. Passport, passport card, Permanent Resident Card (also called a Green Card), or Employment Authorization Document (EAD). If you are an E-Verify employer who chooses to copy documentation other than those you are required to copy for E-Verify, you should apply this policy consistently with respect to Form I-9 completion for all employees.
If you choose to remotely examine employees’ documents, you must retain clear and legible copies of the front and back (if two-sided) of ALL Form I-9 documentation an employee presents remotely with the employee’s Form I-9. For further guidance on remotely examining documents, please see Section 4.5, Remote Document Examination (Optional Alternative Procedure to Physical Document Examination), I-9 Central and E-Verify.gov.
You must always complete Section 2 by reviewing original documentation, even if you copy an employee’s document(s) after reviewing the documentation. You are still responsible for completing and retaining Form I-9.
You must retain copies and present them with Forms I-9 in case of an inspection by DHS, the Department of Labor or the Department of Justice.