Mark A Ivener, A Law Corporation

New Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises Giving Off Bad VIBE


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has begun “beta-testing” the Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) System, which is run by Dun & Bradstreet. VIBE allows USCIS to receive commercially available information about companies or organizations filing certain employment-based petitions. If the U.S. business entity’s information on the petition is inconsistent with what is in VIBE, USCIS issues a request for evidence (RFE).

Some attorneys have reported that the VIBE system, which is based on publicly available information, too often contains inaccuracies, is unreliable, and requires a significant effort to update.

VIBE allows USCIS to electronically receive commercially available information about a petitioning company or organization, including:

  • 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 on site 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

A USCIS officer reviews all information received through VIBE along with the evidence submitted by the petitioner. Adjudicators use information from VIBE to verify the petitioner’s qualifications. For example, if a petitioner seeks L-1 status for a beneficiary, VIBE will help adjudicators confirm that the petitioner has a foreign affiliate, 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.

USCIS said it will not deny a petition based upon information from VIBE without first giving a petitioner “the opportunity to respond to USCIS’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 information supplied by VIBE that are material to the benefit requested.” The Immigration Services Officer (ISO) will make a final decision “based on the totality of the circumstances,” the agency said.

Immigrant Classifications Included in VIBE

The following I-140 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
  • E32 Professional
  • EW3 Unskilled/Other Worker

Additionally, the following I-360 employment-based immigrant classifications are included in VIBE:

  • SD1 Minister of Religion
  • SR1 Non-minister in a religious occupation or vocation

Nonimmigrant Classifications Included in VIBE

The following I-129 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 (DOD) cooperative research and development project or co-production project
  • H-1B3 Fashion model of distinguished merit and ability
  • H-2A Temporary or seasonal agricultural worker
  • H-2B Temporary non-agricultural 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 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional from Canada or Mexico

Classifications Not Included in VIBE

The following employment-based classifications are not included in VIBE currently “due to the very unique eligibility requirements for these classifications”:

  • 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)

The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers recommends that clients check their profile and make sure that the major areas (company address for example) are correct to avoid RFEs in the future. Contact your ABIL attorney for guidance.

USCIS said it encourages petitioners to bring to the agency’s attention any questions related to RFEs or NOIDs involving information USCIS received through VIBE, as well as suggestions for improving the program, by e-mailing VIBE-Feedback@dhs.gov.

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About the Author

Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.

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