Form I-9 Record Keeping and Retention: Best Practices

Table of Contents

When it comes to Form I-9 record keeping and retention, organizations must adhere to certain best practices to ensure compliance with the law. Here is a detailed overview of how to handle Form I-9 records effectively: 

Initial Verification Process

Employers must ensure that all employees complete Section 1 of Form I-9 on their first day of employment. Additionally, employers must review and verify the identity and employment authorization documents provided by employees in person within three business days of the employee’s start date. 

Proper Documentation

It is crucial to maintain accurate and up-to-date records for each employee. Employers should securely store the completed Form I-9 for every current employee. Also, they must retain the forms for former employees based on retention guidelines. 

Employer Responsibilities

Employers are required to keep Form I-9 records for each employee for either three years after the date of hire or one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later. It is essential to keep these records separate from other employee files and maintain the confidentiality of the information. 

Retaining Forms Electronically

Keeping electronic copies of Form I-9 is allowed, as long as specific guidelines are followed. The electronic storage system must meet certain criteria set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ensure the integrity, accuracy, and accessibility of the records. 

Annual Self-Audits

Conducting regular self-audits of Form I-9 records can help identify and correct any errors or omissions. It is essential to rectify any mistakes promptly to avoid potential fines and penalties during a government audit. 


EMP Trust HR’s Onboarding software offers a comprehensive solution for managing Form I-9 records and ensuring compliance with USCIS/DHS guidelines.


The embedded Electronic Form I-9 software simplifies the onboarding process by allowing employees to complete their forms electronically and sign them digitally. Employers can securely store and audit Form I-9s within the platform, making it easier to track and maintain compliance. 


By utilizing EMP Trust HR’s Onboarding software, organizations can streamline their onboarding process, reduce paperwork, and mitigate the risks associated with Form I-9 non-compliance. The e-sign features and built-in compliance checks help employers maintain accurate and organized Form I-9 records, ultimately contributing to a more efficient and compliant workforce management system. 

Share this Post!
Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join our subscribers list to receive updates regularly

Other Interesting Blog Posts

Speak to an HR Business Partner Today