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USCIS Announces a New Streamlined Process for Submitting Information Used in VIBE
United States Citizenship & Immigration Services ("USCIS") recently announced a new streamlined process by which certain USCIS customers -- private US employers filing employment-based petitions for now -- may submit information about their organizations into USCIS' Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE)'s database. USCIS established the VIBE program to enhance its accuracy and efficiency and to detect fraud in the adjudication process.
USCIS has acknowledged that it's Immigration Service Officers (ISOs), who are engaged in adjudicating certain I-129 and I-140 petitions, use this web-based tool to validate basic information about companies or organizations petitioning to employ alien workers. Because VIBE uses Dun & Bradstreet, an independent information provider, as its search database, eligible petitioners may use Dun & Bradstreet's iUpdate for U.S. government customers Web page to update their company information, or more importantly, to correct any errors or inaccuracies about them in their D&B profile. Employment based applications that are subject to a VIBE search include the commonly sought temporary worker visas such as H-1B, L-1, TN, and Religious Worker, and Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor visas, as well as the First (EB1), Second (EB2), and Third (EB3) Preference employer-sponsored immigrant worker visa classifications.
USCIS notes that notwithstanding it's use of VIBE, petitioners are still required to meet all the evidentiary requirements applicable to the immigration benefit sought to receive USCIS approval; likewise, USCIS primarily adjudicates a petitioner's application based on evidence on record with the USCIS filing. Nevertheless, USCIS notes that having an accurate D&B profile is particularly significant because this "will allow petitioners to know how their business or organization will be presented in VIBE before they file a petition with USCIS." Indeed, it is not uncommon for USCIS to issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) or, in some cases, a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) if a VIBE search results in a potentially conflicting or contradictory information about the petitioner. However, it should be emphasized that petitioners who receive an RFE or NOID must timely and fully respond to USCIS's request, as a failure to do so could result in a denial of immigration benefit sought.
Still, with this streamlined update process, USCIS has empowered petitioners to control some of the information that USCIS may access using VIBE, which should thereby enable petitioners to potentially avoid receiving an RFE or NOID as a result of a VIBE hit.