News & Insights

Miroslava Orduño Rincón addresses document retention regarding employees' Form I-9 

November 2, 2017

In the latest issue of dbusiness, Miroslava Orduño Rincon, immigration partner, addresses the question: "Should an employer retain copies of documentation presented by employees for Form I-9?" View the original post here. Miroslava's response:

A: Form I-9 regulations permit an employer to determine whether or not to keep copies of the documentation presented by the employee. The basic requirement is consistency. An employer may commence or end the practice of keeping the supporting documents at any time, as long as the practice is carried across all employees going forward, regardless of national origin or citizenship status. Failure to be consistent could violate anti-discrimination laws.

Retaining the documents presented by the employee may serve to show good faith during a government audit and may even alleviate civil fines for basic errors, but this isn’t to say that these copies relieve the employer from any obligation to properly execute form I-9. Additionally, these copies facilitate the internal audits that every employer should periodically conduct of their I-9s. However, these photocopies may not be used for any other purpose.

Should your company decide to end the existing practice of retaining these documents, please remember that you may not shred previously copied documents. Department of Homeland Security regulations dictate that once copies are retained, they must be attached to Form I-9 or kept with the employee’s personnel file.

About Miroslava ...

Miroslava Orduño Rincón’s practice focuses on immigration and nationality law and leads the firm's Immigration and Nationality Law practice group.

Miroslava has extensive experience with U.S. non-immigrant and immigrant petitions for large international corporate clients in the Automotive OEM and Aerospace industries. She additionally processes outbound visitor and work visas, family-based petitions, and naturalization.

Prior to attending law school, and while pursuing her legal studies, Miroslava served for 11 years as an immigration paralegal. She is a native Spanish speaker, and has extensive facility in the French language. 

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