Overview

Duties

  • 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.
  • Research, interpret and apply appropriate statutes, regulations, and precedent decisions to make adjudicative decisions.
  • 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.

Requirements

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

The qualifications for this position must be met by 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on the closing date of this announcement.

This position is in the bargaining unit.

This position is not considered “essential” for purposes of reporting to work when the facility might otherwise be closed.

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.

Background Investigation:To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass 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 Mythbuster Page.

If a SECRET or TOP SECRET clearance is needed or the position is designated a Sensitive National Security position, all selected candidates must meet the requirements for these clearances or Sensitive National Security position prior to placement AND maintain that level of clearance or national security eligibility while encumbering the position.

Probationary Period: You may be required to serve a probationary period of 1 year.

Motor Vehicle Operation: This position may require operation of a motor vehicle; if so, you must possess a current valid driver’s license.

Qualifications

GS-09: You qualify at the GS-09 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience, which is equivalent to at least the GS-07 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:

  • Examining, evaluating evidence, and analyzing immigration benefits documents received for authenticity.
  • Researching, analyzing and applying appropriate immigration laws, policies and procedures.
  • Adjudicating immigration benefits based on reviews of applications in coordination with policies.

OR

You may substitute a Master’s degree or two full years of graduate education leading to such a degree in any field, or a J.D. or L.L.B. degree for experience required at the GS-09 grade level. 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 two years of graduate education. If that information is not available, use 36 semester or 54 quarter hours.

GS-11: In addition to the requirements at the lower grade level(s), to qualify at the GS-11 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience, which is equivalent to at least 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), to qualify at the GS-12 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience, which is equivalent to at least 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.
  • There is no education substitution at this grade.

The assessments for this job will measure the following competencies:

  • Technical Competence
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Writing
  • Reasoning

Please read the following important information to ensure you submit 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 will be used to determine your qualifications for the position advertised in this announcement. Therefore, your resume must highlight your most relevant, significant experience related to the requirements found in the qualification section of this announcement, as well as any applicable education. USCIS will only review the first 5 pages of your resume to determine your initial 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. Please note that your full resume will be made available to the hiring manager if you are referred. 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)
  • Salary

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.

Federal Experience: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.

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

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.

Education

COMBINING QUALIFYING EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION: 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. Transcript required: If you don’t submit a transcript, we will not use your education when deciding if you’re qualified for the job. For verification purposes, the transcript submitted must include your name and educational institution.

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.

Additional information

Special Employment Consideration: 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.

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 Personnel Management guidance and U.S. Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring. These authorities are subject to change.

Additional Information:

USCIS uses E-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities.

If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.

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.

Applying to this announcement certifies that you give permission for DHS to share your application with others in DHS for similar positions.

Common definitions for hiring terms found in this announcement.

  • Benefits

    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.

    Review our benefits

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 for this position and placed in one of the three categories below based upon information reflected in your resume. Your resume must support your responses to the job specific assessment questionnaires, level of education claimed, experience, and/or training. To remain in consideration for this position, please ensure your resume covers this requirement and that your resume has been successfully submitted as part of your on-line application package.

  • Best-Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of all evaluation criteria.
  • Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria.
  • Qualified: Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Creation of this package includes completing the on-line assessment(s), uploading your resume, and uploading any required supporting documents. (See the “How To Apply” section of this announcement.)

NOTE: Your resume and supporting documentation will be verified. If you rated yourself higher than what is supported by your application material, you may be excluded from consideration for this job. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.

If you are found best qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be contacted for an interview.

Veterans: Qualified Veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best-qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level, or higher. (This position is not considered scientific/professional.) Other 10-point preference eligibles and veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify. View information on veterans’ preference.

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. View information about CTAP or ICTAP eligibility on OPM’s Career Transition Resources website. To be considered well qualified under CTAP/ ICTAP, you must be placed in the Well-Qualified category for this position, as described above. In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed under the required documents section of this job announcement.

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.

Conditions of Employment Reminder: If you fail to meet the conditions of employment or any other pre-employment requirements, such as missing any of the scheduled appointments, the hiring agency may rescind their tentative offer of employment.

You may preview questions for this vacancy.

  • Benefits

    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.

    Review our benefits

  • Required Documents

    As a new or existing federal employee, you and your family may have access to a range of benefits. Your benefits depend on the type of position you have – whether you’re a permanent, part-time, temporary or an intermittent employee. You may be eligible for the following benefits, however, check with your agency to make sure you’re eligible under their policies.

    Resume: 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, which are submitted through the on-line application process in USAJOBS, DO NOT need to be attached as an additional document to your application.

    To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to E.O. 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

    Guidance from the Task Force is available at: Protecting the Federal Workforce.

    Are you qualifying based on education? Submit a copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable) from an accredited institution. Once selected and prior to appointment, applicants must provide an official college transcript. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal qualification requirements if you can show that your foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. For example, specific courses accepted for college-level credit by an accredited U.S. college or university, or foreign education evaluated by an organization recognized for accreditation by the Department of Education as education equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. college or university. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence with your application. See Recognition of Foreign Qualifications for more information.

    Are you a veteran? You must provide acceptable documentation of your preference or appointment eligibility. The member 4 copy of your DD214, “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty,” is preferable. If claiming 10 point preference, you will need to submit a Standard Form (SF-15), “Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference.” 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 date on the certification. This must indicate your dates of service, your rank, and confirm that you will be separated under honorable conditions. View more veterans’ information.

    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.

    Are you a current or former political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee? Submit a copy of your applicable SF-50, along with a statement that provides the following information regarding your most recent political appointment:

    • Position Title
    • Type of appointment (Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES, or Presidential Appointee)
    • Agency
    • Beginning and ending dates of appointment

    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.

  • How to Apply

    Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin an application.

    To apply for this position, you must complete the initial online application, to include submission of the documentation specified in the Required Documents section above. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on the closing date of the announcement to receive consideration. The application process is as follows:

    • To begin the application process, click the Apply Online
    • Answer the questions presented in the application and attach all necessary supporting documentation.
    • Click the Submit Application button prior to 11:59 PM (ET) on the announcement closing date.

    To update your application, excluding External Assessment responses, at any time during the announcement open period, return to your USAJOBS account. There you will find a record of your application, the application status, and an option to Update Application. This option will no longer be available once the announcement has closed.

    To verify the status of your application both during and after the announcement open period, log into your USAJOBS account (https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login). All of your applications will appear on the Welcome page. The application record in your USAJOBS account provides the Announcement Status and a “You applied on” date. This information does not confirm the agency application status. Use the “Track this Application” link for additional information regarding the agency application status, the documentation you submitted and any correspondence we have sent related to this application. The Announcement Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each Announcement Status means, visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/how-to/application/status/.

    We strongly encourage you to apply online. If you cannot apply online, you must contact the Human Resource Office listed below at least one business day prior to the closing date for instructions. Applications will not be accepted by mail.

    Agency contact information

    HROC Staffing Help Desk

    Phone

    952-697-8380

    Fax

    952-697-8371

    Email

    hrocstaffinghelpdesk@uscis.dhs.gov

    Address

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
    70 Kimball Avenue
    South Burlington, Vermont 05403
    United States

    Next steps

    Once you submit your application, we will assess your experience and training, identify the best qualified applicants, and refer those applications to the selecting official for further consideration and a possible interview. Your status will be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process. To check your status, log on to your USAJOBS account, click on “Track this Application.” We expect to make a final job offer within 90 days after the deadline for applications. If you are selected, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.

    Telework: USCIS provides voluntary telework opportunities for eligible employees serving in positions conducive to working at an alternate work site in accordance with agency policy. Please Note: You may be required to telework from your personal residence or another location due to the needs of an office or an emergency situation such as severe weather, natural or manmade disasters or for public health, safety or emergency preparedness measures.

    USCIS may fill one or more positions using this vacancy.

    Additional information pertaining to your interest and availability for this position may be needed after the closing date of the job opportunity announcement; therefore, a timely response to these requests must be adhered to in order to remain in consideration.

  • Fair and Transparent

    The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

    • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy
    • Reasonable accommodation policy
    • Financial suitability
    • Selective Service
    • New employee probationary period
    • Signature and false statements
    • Privacy Act
    • Social security number request

Required Documents

Resume: 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, which are submitted through the on-line application process in USAJOBS, DO NOT need to be attached as an additional document to your application.

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to E.O. 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

Guidance from the Task Force is available at: Protecting the Federal Workforce.

Are you qualifying based on education? Submit a copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable) from an accredited institution. Once selected and prior to appointment, applicants must provide an official college transcript. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal qualification requirements if you can show that your foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. For example, specific courses accepted for college-level credit by an accredited U.S. college or university, or foreign education evaluated by an organization recognized for accreditation by the Department of Education as education equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. college or university. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence with your application. See Recognition of Foreign Qualifications for more information.

Are you a veteran? You must provide acceptable documentation of your preference or appointment eligibility. The member 4 copy of your DD214, “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty,” is preferable. If claiming 10 point preference, you will need to submit a Standard Form (SF-15), “Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference.” 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 date on the certification. This must indicate your dates of service, your rank, and confirm that you will be separated under honorable conditions. View more veterans’ information.

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.

Are you a current or former political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee? Submit a copy of your applicable SF-50, along with a statement that provides the following information regarding your most recent political appointment:

  • Position Title
  • Type of appointment (Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES, or Presidential Appointee)
  • Agency
  • Beginning and ending dates of appointment

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.

Help

This job is open to

  • Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)

    Federal employees who meet the definition of a “surplus” or “displaced” employee.

  • The public

    U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

Clarification from the agency

U.S. Citizens