Written by attorney Joshua Charles Teets

H-1B VIBE RFE Protection: Take These Steps, Skip the RFE

If you are going to be a new H-1B employee or an H-1B employer, chances are that the employer will go through a corporate "background check" when it comes time to file your application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. USCIS uses an online tool it calls "VIBE" -- the Validation Instrument for Business Enterprise. This is a resource provided by Dun & Bradstreet, a private company. However, the employer can update this information with D&B to prevent a senseless RFE on this information.

3 Simple Steps to a Better H-1B Petition

  1. Create a "free" D&B Account. D&B will allow you to create a free account on their D&B site. The link is below in the Sources section also. This takes approximately 5-10 minutes, and should be done by a responsible party for the employer. To register as a representative for your company, the person registering must provide personal information -- name, address, phone, etc. -- that D&B can verify through a credit agency or its own databases. I recommend using Internet Explorer and not newer browsers like Chrome or Firefox -- they may work but others have reported trouble using them with D&B's website.
  2. Gather Your Information. You may be surprised at the depth & breadth of the information that D&B stores on a company. You will need all the basic corporate information -- name, doing business as, founding information, address, contact info -- as well as much more detailed information including financials. Perhaps the best advice anyone can give on these screens is to know what USCIS looks at in the H-1B process. Prior officers of the corporation? Probably not so important. Your bank's name? Even less important. Number of employees, affiliated companies, and satellite work sites? Super important.
  3. Confirm Your Update. After you have updated the information, you will receive an email within 1 to 7 days (usually within 72 hours) confirming that your information has been updated. Before the company information is updated, D&B applies their "DUNSRIGHT" (hah?) process to the information provided to ensure accuracy and consistency. D&B will not update the record before this quality check is performed. According to D&B, there is no fee to update this information through this system.

Good luck! For most of our clients, this entire process takes less than an hour. It can be well worth the effort, as these little steps can avoid a very costly H-1B Request for Evidence. Take these simple steps and this will hopefully help avoid any unnecessary "VIBE" RFEs.

Need a little more help? Here is a list of the information you will need to update the D&B Record before filing an H-1B:

Business Summary Page:

  • Company Name
  • All DBAs that you want associated
  • Physical Address
  • Mailing Address
  • Website
  • Phone, Fax
  • Year started
  • Legal Structure

History & Operations Page:

  • Officers' and Directors' Names & Titles
  • Corporate "family" members (D&B's terminology) - Basic corporate information
  • Number of employees
  • NAICS codes (D&B provides a search function for the code)

Finance & Banking Page:

  • Financial information - you will need to enter enough information in the PROFIT AND LOSS section to provide a GROSS and NET income

Additional resources provided by the author

D&B information can also be updated by telephone, by calling 1-800-234-DUNS (3867). We generally do not recommended this method as your update may be compromised if the D&B agent makes any mistakes transcribing your data.

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