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Electronic I-9 forms now allowed.

On October 30, 2004, President Bush signed legislation allowing employers to complete and store electronically the Employment Eligibility Verification form, also known as the Form I-9. The law corrects a glaring anomaly in current federal rules that prohibits I-9s from being stored electronically but requires them to be kept in either paper form or on microforms.

"With today's technology, employers have been making the move to complete electronic processing and storage of all employment forms," said Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), who sponsored the bill.

The Immigration and Nationality Act currently requires all employers to maintain I-9 documents for at least three years after the date of hire or one year after employment is terminated--whichever is longer--but many maintain the forms for a longer period of time because of the resources it would require to audit the files every year. The new law allows employers to complete and store these forms on a computer, as well as to convert existing I-9 forms into electronic versions for storage purposes.

The form must be made available for inspection by federal officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, and the Department of Labor. On the form, the employer must identify the employment eligibility and identity documents presented by the employee and verify review of those documents.

The legislation also amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to authorize both handwritten and electronic signatures on attestation forms required by the employment verification system and authorizes the retention of paper or electronic versions of such forms. The legislation does not amend the Paperwork Reduction Act.
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Title Annotation:Up front: news, trends & analysis; Employment Eligibility Verification form
Author:Swartz, Nikki
Publication:Information Management Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:265
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