The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) recently announced its adoption of a Web-based tool that is designed to streamline and expedite the processing of certain immigration petitions by business sponsors.
Currently, the USCIS relies mostly on paper documentation that must be supplied by the petitioning employer with each petition.
But adoption of the Web-based Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (“VIBE”) is intended to allow the USCIS to receive electronic transmission of commercially available information from an “independent information provider” (IIP).
The initial IIP for the VIBE program is Dun and Bradstreet, but other IIP options exist, and each is theoretically capable of supplying volumes of publicly recorded information about petitioning employers, such as:
- The employer’s legal structure (LLC, corporation, partnership);
- The employer’s business activities;
- The employer’s financial standing;
- The employer’s number of employees; and
- Many other facets of the employer’s history and current activities.
It is hoped that with this information a USCIS officer can review a petitioner’s relevant qualifications without the petitioner having to submit bulky paper packages with their petitions.
If this system can indeed improve the USCIS’s ability to rapidly sort through eligible and non-eligible petitions in automated fashion, then VIBE could cut processing times and reduce time spent on paper documentations. It potentially could also promote more consistent reviews by using the same source for all petitions.
But there are many skeptics who are not certain that the VIBE system is ready for prime time, or that it will do everything it is supposed to do with accuracy and consistency. So stay tuned to this blog for user reviews as they come into better focus.
The USCIS also encourages petitioners to submit comments and suggestions about the VIBE system via e-mail sent to VIBE-Feedback@dhs.gov.
If you are an employer or agent of an employer responsible for compliance with immigration rules, please do not hesitate to contact our office for help at (847) 564-0712. You are also welcome to visit the pertinent section of our Website for additional information about our services.