Do You Store Your I-9s Electronically? New Rules Go Into Effect on August 23, 2010

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Introduction

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has clarified electronic signature and storage of I-9s. Among those clarifications, the DHS has specified that there is no longer any need to copy both sides of the I-9 for electronic storage. The DHS’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has stated that its main goal in promulgating these new rules is to make it easier for employers to prepare, store and retain their Forms I-9s electronically. The DHS announcement of these new rules was issued by press release dated 7.22.2010, stating that the rules are to become effective 08.23.2010, superseding interim rules that have been in effect since 10.30.2004.

Changes to the Interim Rules

1. The Form I-9 must be completed within three business days, not calendar days, after the employee’s first day of work for pay.

2. An employer may choose to store existing Form I-9s electronically was well as complete new ones electronically.

3. Employers may use electronic systems or a combination of paper and electronic systems to complete and store Forms I-9.

4. The audit trail retained for an electronic Form I-9 does not need to include information as to each time a Form I-9 is electronically viewed. The audit trail need only contain a record of when the Form I-9 was created, completed, modified, altered, updated, or corrected.

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