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VIBE Verification System

April 6, 2011

Employers, Particularly Smaller Entities, Should Update their D&B Reports to Avoid Costly Delays in H-1B Visa and other Petitions

On January 28, 2011, the USCIS started beta testing its new verification system for U.S. employers filing visa petitions. That system -- Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises ("VIBE") --is supposed to provide a simple method for the government to use data from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) to validate information about entities, including date of establishment, corporate structure, physical address, head count, financial status and more. We have learned that the opposite has started to occur, however, with mismatches appearing between petitions filed and D&B reports. As a result, employers, particularly smaller entities, should take steps to update D&B or risk possible costly Requests for Evidence.

When the government first announced this verification system back in 2010, it indicated that the process would be supplementary in that USCIS would consult the VIBE database for petitions only when the initial documentation presented was insufficient to approve the case. Unfortunately, however, our colleagues have reported that the government is issuing lengthy Requests for Evidence for smaller sized entities simply based on outdated D&B information, even when the employer provided documentation in the underlying application package, such as a new address. We will be working with certain of our employer clients to have them check their status on D&B before our office files petitions with the USCIS. Employers may update their D&B profile for free by contacting D&B and providing head count, address and other financial data. Contact information for D&B: 1-800-234-3867; It is a good idea for employers to keep notes of their update efforts for possible later use in dealing with the USCIS.

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