The Web-based Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) is a tool designed to enhance USCIS’s adjudications of certain employment-based immigration petitions. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies or organizations petitioning to employ certain alien workers.
Currently, Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the independent information provider for the VIBE program.
When adjudicating employment-based petitions, USCIS must primarily rely on paper documentation supplied by the petitioning company or organization to establish the petitioner’s eligibility for the requested classification.
When petitioners’ paperwork does not sufficiently document the evidence required under the law, USCIS must issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) for additional documentation, delaying final adjudication of the petition.
The VIBE program has been introduced to address some of these issues.
VIBE allows USCIS to electronically receive commercially available information from an IIP, currently D&B, about a petitioning company or organization. This information includes:
Business activities, such as type of business (North American Industry Classification System code), trade payment information, and status (active or inactive).
Financial standing, including sales volume and credit standing.
Number of employees, both on-site and globally.
Relationships with other entities, including foreign affiliates.
Type of office. (Examples include single entities, branches, subsidiaries and headquarters.)
Type of legal entity. For example, LLC, partnership or corporation.
Date of establishment as a business entity.
Current physical address.
A USCIS officer will review all information received through VIBE along with the evidence submitted by the petitioner. Adjudicators will use the information from VIBE to verify the petitioner’s qualifications. For example, if a petitioner is seeking L-1 status for a beneficiary, VIBE will help adjudicators confirm that the petitioner has a foreign affiliate, which is a requirement for granting L-1 status.
Information from VIBE will help confirm petitioners’ financial viability in cases where petitioners must establish ability to pay.
USCIS will not deny a petition based upon information from VIBE without first giving the petitioner the opportunity to respond to the agency’s concerns. USCIS will issue an RFE or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) if it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies or other issues that emerge upon review of VIBE-supplied information that are material to the benefit requested.
An immigration services officer (ISO) will make a final decision based on the totality of the circumstances.
Your Company’s or Organization’s Information in VIBE
USCIS does not require companies and organizations to create or update records with D&B.
However, as of December 2011, if your entity is a U.S.-based privately held company or organization and you would like to create, verify or correct its D&B record, you may contact D&B directly online through the firm’s new streamlined process for U.S.-based privately held USCIS petitioners and other U.S. government customers.
You may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers.
Contacting D&B from this link will allow these USCIS petitioners to create, update and view basic elements of their company’s or organization’s D&B report without being subjected to direct marketing from D&B.
This new, streamlined iUpdate for U.S. government customers process is only available for U.S.-based, privately held companies.
U.S.-based publicly traded companies, government entities and foreign companies wishing to create, update or view their report with D&B may usewww.dnb.com; however, they may be subjected to direct marketing from D&B.
PLEASE NOTE: If updating your information through http://www.dnb.com, D&B representatives may suggest that you purchase products and services from D&B. USCIS does not endorse D&B or its products or services, and does not in any way suggest that you purchase products or services from D&B in order to ensure your information is complete.
Additionally, USCIS does not in any way suggest that you pay any fee to expedite the creation of a new record or to update an existing record.
iUpdate for U.S. government customers is a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B. Its users will be asked a series of short challenge questions, based on geographical and demographic data, to authenticate and establish an ID and password. Only those with access to your established ID and password will be able to access your business information.
There is no fee to check, update or create a record for your company or organization with D&B.
Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID you receive from USCIS. Failure to respond directly to USCIS could result in the denial of your petition.
Immigrant Classifications Included in VIBE
The following I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) employment-based immigrant classifications are included in VIBE:
E12, outstanding professor or researcher
E13, multinational executive or manager
E21, member of professions holding an advanced degree or an alien of exceptional ability (with the exception of National Interest Waiver petitions)
E31, skilled worker
EW3, unskilled/other worker
Additionally, the following I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow[er] or Special Immigrant) employment-based immigrant classifications are included in VIBE:
SD1, minister of religion
SR1, nonminister in a religious occupation or vocation
Nonimmigrant Classifications Included in VIBE
The following I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) employment-based nonimmigrant classifications are also included in VIBE:
E-1, treaty trader
E-2, treaty investor
E-3, member of specialty occupation who is a national of the Commonwealth of Australia
H-1B, specialty occupation worker
H-1B1, specialty occupation worker from Chile or Singapore
H-1B2, worker performing services related to a Department of Defense cooperative research and development project or coproduction project
H-1B3, fashion model of distinguished merit and ability
H-2A, temporary or seasonal agricultural worker
H-2B, temporary nonagricultural worker
H-3, trainee or special education exchange visitor
L-1A, intracompany transferee in a managerial or executive position
L-1B, intracompany transferee in a position utilizing specialized knowledge
LZ, blanket L petition
Q-1, international cultural exchange visitor
R-1, religious worker
TN, NAFTA professional from Canada or Mexico
Classifications Not Included in VIBE
Due to their unique eligibility requirements, the following employment-based classifications are not included in VIBE at this time:
CW-1, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-only transitional worker
E-2C, long-term foreign investors in the CNMI
E11, individuals of extraordinary ability
E21, national interest waiver
EB-5, immigrant investor
O, individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement (including essential support personnel)
P, internationally recognized athletes and entertainment groups, performers under a reciprocal exchange program, and artists or entertainers under a culturally unique program (including essential support personnel)
Goals of VIBE
The use of VIBE is expected to enhance USCIS’s ability to distinguish eligible petitioners from those who may be ineligible.
In the future, the use of VIBE should reduce the need for companies and organizations to submit identical paper documentation with each petition to establish their current level of business operations. Through VIBE, USCIS should also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.
By providing the same petitioner information to all four USCIS service centers, VIBE promotes the consistent review of employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions. Overall, the information VIBE provides improves the integrity of employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant programs and the process for petitioners seeking foreign workers to employ.
USCIS may send to some petitioners an RFE or NOID that references information VIBE has received from the IIP. Petitioners MUST respond to these RFEs or NOIDs; failure to respond may result in the denial of the petition.
Last updated by RHR: 01/24/2012
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