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Another Hurdle in Employment-based Applications for US Visas and Green Cards

Another Hurdle in Employment-based Applications for US Visas and Green Cards.
By: Olga Quinones, LL.M., Legal Assistant

Obtaining US work visas and employment-based green cards is a challenging process nowadays. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – a US government agency that processes many visa and green card applications – has become very restrictive in their review of the work visas and green card applications. This results in visa/green card processing delays and even denials. One of the recent developments is the addition of a web-based VIBE (Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises) tool. The USCIS introduced this new web-based tool to validate certain information about businesses and organizations that apply for work visas and employment-based green cards. For more information, please visit the USCIS VIBE page.

After numerous complaints from the immigration attorneys and companies regarding this new tool, the USCIS has published a New Streamlined Process for Submitting Information used in USCIS VIBE. You can find the description of this New Streamlined Process here.

VIBE may be a useful tool for the USCIS, but it is a hurdle for companies and immigration attorneys. VIBE allows the USCIS to crosscheck the company-related information contained in the visa/green card application against the information available from the Dun & Bradstreet report. Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) is a commercial database that provides information on businesses and corporations for use in credit decisions, B2B marketing and supply chain management. D&B can obtain company information from various sources and create a database without the company’s knowledge. If during the VIBE crosscheck the USCIS sees that some information is missing from the D&B database or if some information contradicts the information in the visa/green card application, the USCIS issues a Request for Evidence asking the company to provide the additional documentation showing the missing information or explaining the discrepancy. Such Requests for Evidence are issued even in cases where the application package submitted to the USCIS already included the official corporate documentation from the company showing the information required by the immigration regulations. Needless to say, these Requests for Evidence delay the visa/green card application process and place an additional burden on the company and the attorneys representing the company before the USCIS.

In order to minimize the risk of receiving a D&B-related Requests for Evidence, we advise our clients to update the company’s D&B record at least two weeks before the visa/green card application is submitted to the USCIS. In many cases we are able to update the D&B database on our clients’ behalf because our office provides corporate secretary services for the majority of our clients. We know exactly what information the USCIS is looking for, so we are in the best position to update the D&B record. This additional service saves our clients the time and effort of updating the D&B database themselves. Such D&B updates have become a necessary step in the employment-based visa and green card application process.