USCIS' New Validation Instrument For Business Enterprises ("VIBE") Program Causes Special Documentation Challenges
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As previously reported in Masuda Funai's Immigration Update, USCIS has implemented the Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises ("VIBE") Program. The VIBE Program accesses the Dun & Bradstreet ("D&B") database to obtain independent information regarding companies filing nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions with USCIS. D&B is a public company that provides information on business and corporations for use in credit decisions and maintains a database on more than 190 million companies globally using a variety of sources including public records, trade references, telephone interviews, newspaper publications and other sources. However, D&B's database is not 100% accurate and has resulted in the USCIS sending Requests for Evidence ("RFE") to petitioning companies when the information in the VIBE Program cannot verify certain company information. Unfortunately, the use of the VIBE Program by USCIS now results in the issuance of RFEs based upon inaccurate and inconsistent information. These RFEs then result in delays in the adjudication of the company's petition.
For these reasons, we recommend the following actions:
If your company is already registered with D&B, procure a copy of the company's D&B report at http://www.dnb.com
through the "Update your Company's Profile" tab. Please carefully review and correct any inaccuracies in the D&B information. (Please note that our firm can only review whether the company is listed in the D&B database and we are unable to view and correct the company's information.)
Companies should assure that the information submitted with the petitions filed on behalf of their employees is consistent and updated with the D&B information to the extent possible.
Companies are not required to register with D&B; therefore, if your company is not listed in the database, you will have to provide documentation to the USCIS evidencing the company's existence and information submitted in the petition.
Companies with approved L-1 blanket petitions should consider using the approved blanket petition to process individuals for L-1 status because the individual can apply for the L-1 visa stamp directly at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate without the need to have a petition first reviewed by USCIS. A company that does not have an approved L-1 blanket petitions may wish to consider whether the company and its transferees can qualify for such benefits.
For those companies and their employees that may qualify, as an alternative to L, H or similar visa petition, the company should consider applying for E visas directly with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and avoid the need to seek USCIS prior review and approval.
If you have any questions or require further assistance, please contact the Immigration Practice Group at Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. at 847.734.8811.