Not-So-Good Vibrations? USCIS Implements Business Verification Program
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Office of Public Engagement held an information-sharing session on May 27, 2010, in Washington, DC, on a Web-based tool provided under a USCIS contract with Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., that the agency said “will help bring uniformity and consistency to the processing of employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions.” During the session, Service Center Operations staff provided a presentation of the “VIBE” program, which is being implemented this year at Service Centers.
VIBE (Verification Initiative for Business Enterprises) is intended to provide USCIS with an alternative means of verifying the financial viability of companies petitioning to employ foreign workers, along with other information about the company, such as the type of business and number of employees. USCIS announced in September 2009 that the contract had been awarded to Dun & Bradstreet for $35.5 million. A USCIS synopsis issued in April 2009 notes that:
…the Government requires licensing terms that allow the information provided to be retained in adjudicator files in perpetuity. Further, this information may be viewed and used by other Government agencies for legal proceedings, such as court hearings or similar administrative hearing activities related to granting or denying immigration benefits. It has also been determined through market research that industry does not provide warranty terms regarding the accuracy of information provided. The Government may potentially use the information in a court of law, as such, it must be supportable.
- The award notice.
- A related letter from USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas to Sen. Charles Grassley is available as PDF.
- A blog commentary on the VIBE program