9.2 Retaining Copies of Form I-9 Documents

If you choose to copy or scan documents an employee presents when completing Form I-9, you must retain the copies with their Form I-9 or their employee record. If you are enrolled in E-Verify, you must copy the following List A documents used as part of photo matching:

  • U.S. passport;
  • U.S. passport card;
  • Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card; and
  • Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Making photocopies of an employee’s documents does not take the place of completing Form I-9. Even if you retain copies of documents, you are still required to fully complete and retain Form I-9. If you do not participate in E-Verify, you are not required to make photocopies of documents. If you choose to retain copies of an employee’s documents for reasons unrelated to E-Verify requirements, you must do so for all employees, regardless of actual or perceived national origin or citizenship status, or you may violate anti-discrimination laws.

Copies or electronic images of documents must be retrievable consistent with DHS’s standards on electronic retention, documentation, security, and electronic signatures for employers and employees, as specified in 8 CFR 274a.2(b)(3).

If you make copies or electronic images of the employee’s documents, you must retain them with the corresponding Form I-9 or with the employee’s records according to the electronic records retention standards specified in 8 CFR 274a.2(b)(3). However, if you make copies or electronic images of the employee’s documents, you must make them available at the time of a Form I-9 inspection by DHS or another federal government agency.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/27/2020