This position of IMMIGRATION SERVICES OFFICER starts at a salary of $69,581.00 GS-11 grade level, step 01, with promotion potential to $108,422.00 GS-12 grade level, step 10.
The responsibilities described are for the full performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence, and limited complexity.
Grant or deny complex and highly sensitive applications and petitions for immigration benefits based on electronic or paper applications/petitions.
Interview applicants and petitioners to elicit statements, assess credibility, and analyze information to identify facts that form the basis for a decision concerning eligibility for immigration benefits.
Conduct security checks and provide assistance to Federal law enforcement agencies to identify individuals who are ineligible for immigration benefits due to national security, public safety, or other legal grounds.
Use electronic systems to provide verification of any number of established data points to make adjudicative decisions, determine appropriate level of adjudicative review, and update databases with appropriate information and decisions.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Job family (Series)
1801 General Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, And Compliance Series
Conditions of Employment
Probationary Period: You may be required to serve a probationary period of 1 year.
The qualifications for this position must be met by 11:59pm (Eastern Time) on the closing date of this announcement 11/21/2019.
Current Federal employees must have served 52 weeks at the lower grade or equivalent grade band in the Federal service. The Time-in-Grade requirement must be met by 11:59pm (Eastern Time) on the closing date of this announcement 11/21/2019.
Residency Requirement: There is a residency requirement for all applicants not currently employed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This residency requirement states that candidates must have, for three of the last five years immediately prior to applying for this position; (1) resided in the United States; OR (2) worked for the United States Government as an employee overseas in a Federal or Military capacity, OR (3) been a dependent of a U.S. Federal or Military employee serving overseas.
Applying to this announcement certifies that you give permission for DHS to share your application with others in DHS for similar positions.
Any offers of employment made pursuant to this announcement will be consistent with all applicable authorities, including Presidential Memoranda, Executive Orders, interpretive U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance, and Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring. These authorities are subject to change.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.
Conditions of Employment:
You must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National to apply for this position.
Successfully pass a Background Investigation including financial disclosure.
You must pass a drug screening.
You must submit resume and supporting documentation.
Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service.
Political appointees may require OPM approval before on-boarding.
Relocation expenses are authorized if you are a USCIS employee assigned to the Refugee, Asylum and International Operations program and have been approved for rotation from an overseas assignment. Relocation expenses for USCIS employees assigned to an OCONUS location will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
GS-11: In addition to the requirements at the lower grade level(s), you qualify at the GS-11 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience, which is equivalent to the GS-09 level in the federal government, that equipped you with the skills needed to successfully perform the duties of the position. You must have experience performing the following duties:
Making final determinations on non-sensitive, routine immigration matters related to the Immigration and Nationality Act, or representing applicants on non-sensitive, routine hearing or appeal requests involving immigration matters, that included determining applicant credibility, analyzing evidence, and applying statutory requirements, regulations, judicial and administrative precedents. OR
You may substitute a doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent degree) or three full years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to such a degree in any field, or L.L.M. if related for experience at the GS-11 grade level or such education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position. Check with your school to determine how many credit hours comprise three years of graduate study. If that information is not available, use 54 semester or 81 quarter hours.
GS-12: In addition to the requirements at the lower grade level(s), you qualify at the GS-12 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience, which is equivalent to the GS-11 level in the federal government, that equipped you with the skills needed to successfully perform the duties of the position. You must have experience performing the following duties:
Making final determinations on sensitive, complex immigration cases involving eligibility for citizenship and immigration benefits, or preparing legal briefs or other written memoranda that advocate for a determination in complex hearing or appeal cases;
Writing final determinations with legal analysis to support decisions;
Independently analyzing immigration laws, policies,and precedent decisions;
Analyzing information and documents to determine credibility and eligibility for immigration benefits.
Please read the following important information to ensure we have everything we need to consider your application:
It is your responsibility to ensure that you submit your responses and appropriate documentation prior to the closing date. Your resume serves as the basis for qualification determinations and must highlight your most relevant and significant experience and education (if applicable), as it relates to this job opportunity announcement. USCIS will only review the first 5 pages of your resume to determine your eligibility/qualifications for a position. As such, please be sure to include content to support your eligibility/qualifications for this position within the first 5 pages. Be clear and specific when describing your work history since human resources cannot make assumptions regarding your experience. Your application will be rated and ranked based on your responses to the online questions.
Please ensure EACH work history includes ALL of the following information:
Job Title (include series and grade if Federal Job)
Duties (be specific in describing your duties)
Employer's name and address
Supervisor name and phone number
Start and end dates including month, day and year (e.g. June 18 2007 to April 05 2008)
Start and end dates for each grade/pay level if you've held a federal position.
Full-time or part-time status (include hours worked per week)
Determining length of General or Specialized Experience is dependent on the above information and failure to provide the above information may result in a finding of ineligible.
Note: Overstating your qualifications and/or experience in your application materials or application questionnaire may result in your removal from consideration.
If you are using current or prior federal experience as a basis for qualifying for this position, the grade levels and length of employment (mm/dd/year) at each grade level must be listed in your work history. This information will be further validated if selected for this position.
National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience):
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build criteria competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer service. Please provide the dates and amount of time/hours worked earning this experience.
Training: If you have not already done so, you will be required to attend a residential USCIS Officer training course. This technical training must be successfully completed according to the standards of the agency. Failure to do so will be grounds for mandatory removal from the position. Such failure will result in either reassignment to a different position, demotion, or separation by appropriate procedures.
COMBINING QUALIFYING EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION (GS-11 ONLY): If you do not qualify based on experience or education alone, you may be able to qualify based on a combination of your experience and education. For more information on combining education and experience, visit the following website: General Schedule Qualification Standards.
DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include: flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select "Benefits." Disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.
To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, this position requires completion and adjudication of a background investigation. This may include a review of financial issues such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs. The background investigation process is initiated after a selection is made. For more information visit the OPM Myth Buster Page.
If a SECRET or TOP SECRET clearance is needed, all selected candidates must meet the requirements for these clearances prior to placement AND maintain that level of clearance while encumbering the position.
Special Hiring Authorities
The Department of Homeland Security encourages persons with disabilities to apply, to include persons with intellectual, severe physical or psychiatric disabilities, as defined by 5 CFR § 213.3102(u), and/or Disabled Veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more as defined by 5 CFR § 315.707. Veterans, Peace Corps/VISTA volunteers, and persons with disabilities possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility for non-competitive appointment and to understand the required documentation, click on the links above or contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement.
USCIS uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify.
It is our responsibility to eliminate any risks to national security, public health, and public safety that could be posed by individuals who use illegal drugs. This position may be subject to random testing as a condition of employment. A positive drug test or refusal to be tested will result in disciplinary action, up to and including removal from Federal service.
Note:If you previously retired from the Federal service and are receiving an annuity, your salary may be offset by the amount of your annuity.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
You will be evaluated based on how well you meet the qualifications listed in this vacancy announcement. Your qualifications will be evaluated based on your application materials (e.g., resume, supporting documents), the responses you provide on the application questionnaire, and the result of the online assessments required for this position. You will be assessed on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics):
Attention to Detail
In order to be considered for this position, you must complete all required steps in the process. In addition to the application and application questionnaire, this position requires an online assessment. The online assessment measures critical general competencies required to perform the job. .
If you are found best qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be contacted for an interview. To preview the job questionnaire, click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10647293.
Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligible
If you have never worked for the Federal government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible. Information about CTAP or ICTAP eligibility can be found by clicking here to access OPM's Career Transition Resources website. To be considered well qualified under CTAP/ ICTAP, you must be rated at a minimum score of 80 for this position. In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed under the required documents section of this announcement.
Certain veterans are eligible to apply as a status candidate under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) or the Veteran's Recruitment Appointment (VRA). For more information, please click here.
Note: Applicants who are referred to the hiring office for selection consideration may be required to complete a writing sample and/or other writing exercise as part of the interview/selection process. If the hiring office decides to request a writing sample and/or other writing exercise as part of its selection process, a designated contractor or Agency representative will contact you to: (1) inform you of this requirement; and (2) provide further instructions.
For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here.
We will notify you by email at various stages in the process click here.
This position is in in the bargaining unit.
This position is not considered "essential" for purposes of reporting to work when the facility might otherwise be closed.
USCIS may fill one or more positions using this vacancy.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
You must submit a resume that clearly demonstrates you have experience that meets the requirements of this position as outlined in the "Qualifications" section. USCIS' human resources office will only review the first 5 pages of your resume to determine your eligibility/qualifications.In order to ensure that you include all necessary information within the first 5 pages of your resume, you are highly encouraged to save and submit your resume as a PDF instead of submitting it through Resume Builder or a word-processing program such as Word or Google Docs.
Your responses to the job questionnaire https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10647293(submitted through the on-line application process in USA Jobs. Responses DO NOT need to be attached as an additional document to your application).
Are you qualifying based on education? You must submit a copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable). For verification purposes, the transcript submitted must include your name and name of institution where education was received. Those with foreign education, click this link.
Veterans: if you are applying for 5-Point Preference you must submit your DD 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) showing your Character of Service. If you are applying for 10-point Preference you must fill out the SF-15 (click here for the form) and provide the required documentation listed on the back of the form. If applying as a disabled veteran, submit a copy of your DD-214 along with the letter from the Veterans Administration, or other formal documentation, that clearly identifies overall rating of disability. If applying based on eligibility under the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act, you must submit certification from the armed forces that you will be discharged or released from active duty within 120 days from the closing date of the announcement. This must indicate your dates of service, your rank, and confirm that you will be separated under honorable conditions. Click here for more veterans' information. You may request a copy of your DD-214 through the E-Benefits Page.
Are you a current or former Federal employee? Submit a copy of your official SF-50 (no text version) or other official "Notification of Personnel Action" document that shows the following information:
your appointment in the competitive service
grade and step
full performance level
If your SF-50(s) does not provide the information needed to make a final determination for qualification and eligibility, you will be found ineligible for the position. SF-50B print screens from NFC are not official documents and are not acceptable. This includes USCIS employees as well. All current DHS employees can print their own SF-50's by accessing the DHS eOPF website. If you have forgotten your user name or password, eOPF offers a self-service feature to assist you.
If you are a current CIS employee and need access information to eOPF, contact USCIS.EOPF@uscis.dhs.gov. For all other agencies please see your servicing Human Resources office.
Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP)? Submit:
a copy of your agency notice,
a copy of your most recent performance rating, and
a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, noting your current position, grade level, and duty location.
If you are requesting a reasonable accommodation to the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments, submit documentation to support your request, including the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form found here.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Review our benefits
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.