USCIS Using External Sources to Check Validity of Petitions

For employer/petitioners submitting petitions on behalf of individuals who will derive an immigration benefit, it is imperative for the company to verify the information available on Dun & Bradstreet before submitting any paperwork with the USCIS.  When adjudicating petitions USCIS uses the information from Dun & Bradstreet through VIBE (Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises) to verify the company’s qualifications.  VIBE is a web-based tool designed to enhance USCIS’s adjudications of certain employment-based immigration petitions that uses commercially available data to validate basic information about companies or organizations petitioning to employ alien workers.  Among the information available, the USCIS can verify the information pertaining to:

  • 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, including onsite and globally
  • Relationships with other entities, including foreign affiliates
  • Status, for example whether it is a single entity, branch, subsidiary or headquarters
  • Ownership and legal status, such as LLC, partnership or corporation
  • Company executives
  • Date of establishment as a business entity
  • Current physical address

USCIS will check the company’s information for I-140 employment based immigrant classifications and employment based nonimmigrant classifications such as E, H, L, Q, R and TN status.  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. In cases where petitioners must establish ability to pay, information from VIBE will assist in confirming the petitioner’s financial viability.

Our office has started receiving RFEs indicating that the information on VIBE is inconsistent with that provided in the petition.  Among the reasons why an inconsistency can occur would be in the case where the company uses a CPA or an attorney to set up the business entity.  Oftentimes, it is the CPA or attorney’s address that is initially indicated in the Articles of Incorporation when submitted to the Secretary of State.  This information is included in the Dun & Bradstreet report if not updated by the company.

We urge petitioner’s to check the information that is contained in their Dun & Bradstreet profile and to request a D&B DUNS Number.  If any of the information contained in the profile on D&B is incorrect or outdated, we suggest that they contact D&B to update the information by either calling 1-800-234-3867 or their website