Important Criteria For Electronic Storage Of The Form I-9

How do you make a decision about electronic completion and storage of the Form I-9? Is electronic completion and storage right for your company? What benefits will you gain by completing the Form I-9 in electronic format? Many companies would like to go “paperless” to reduce cost. Some companies may choose electronic storage to reduce the physical space required to store paper forms. Reducing cost, saving time, and insuring accurate completion of the form are the main reasons a company chooses electronic storage. Some employers may choose to complete a paper version of the I-9 Form and scan and save it. This is the simplest version of electronic storage. If your company chooses this method, once you have securely stored the I-9 Form in electronic format, you may destroy the original paper Form I-9. According to USCIS (U.S. 5. The ability to reproduce legible paper copies. USCIS also allows electronic signatures if you complete I-9 Forms electronically.

When a company chooses to use an elec­tronic signature, the system for capturing electronic signatures must allow signatories to acknowledge that they read the attestation and attach the electronic signa­ture to an electronically completed Form I-9. 3. Provide a printed confirmation of the transaction, at the time of the transaction, to the person providing the signature. Use these 25 questions when considering any paperless electronic storage system to help guide you toward an informed decision. How secure is the system? Remember, you are storing very vital personal information on each Form I-9. Does it meet the criteria set forth by USCIS? Where is the information stored? Is it on your company network or is it an on-line storage system? What type of back-up is in place to ensure data is never lost even in the event of a natural disaster such as flood or tornado? Who will have access to the information stored in the system?

Does the system have an audit log to record every time a record is accessed and who accessed it? If requested by ICE, will you be able to produce all current employees I-9 Forms and all terminated employees I-9 Forms going back 3 years time within 3 business days? If you cannot produce the documents according to a legitimate Government request within 3 days, does the software/system provider have insurance to cover your companys losses and fines for failure to produce within the time allowed? What provisions are in place in the system for complying with various State specific employment verification issues? What provisions are in place to handle the Form I-9 if an employee is transferred to a new location? Does the program have a tickler system to remind you when I-9 Forms need updating when work authorization documents expire that are necessary to re-verify? Does the program provider offer a training program for field agents who will be completing the Form I-9? Does the provider offer training concerning the use of E-verify and /or SSNVS (Social Security Number Verification Service)?

Who will observe the prospective employee complete Section 1 of the Form I-9? Who will observe the prospective employees physical appearance and identity documents to ascertain they appear to be the documents of the individual who is presenting them? Can an applicant complete the form without including his/her Social Security number in Section 1? Is there a place in the system to store the date of termination? What provisions are in place for updating the Form I-9 when an employee changes their name for payroll purposes? How are the ID and work authorization documents produced by the employee stored? Can the system store the confirmation or non-confirmation returned by E-verify? Are you able to store SSNVS results? An employee who enters the US on an L-1A and E-verify will not certify they are eligible to work? What do you do when a new hire shows a Native American card and E-verify will not certify them? What do you do when a foreign worker applies for a Social Security number and is rejected by the SSA without a receipt because their system does not yet have his or her entry into the US? Does the system provider have insurance to cover losses if, as a result of their system, a person is successful in collecting double wages at USDOJ/OSC because the applicant was not hired? Does the system provider offer advice about policies that should be in place to keep the system current with government standards? Does the provider recommend the use of IMAGE (Ice Mutual Agreement with Employers)? Does the provider train clients on how to recognize fake identity documents? If a new hire presents a Green Card, what number from the I-551 (lawful permanent resident card) does the system require in Section 2, List A? Completing and storing I-9 Forms electronically can be a great solution for most employers. It is important to do your homework and make an informed decision before selecting the electronic storage system that best suits your type of business.