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Immigration Services Officer
Citizenship and Immigration Services

Harlingen, Texas
Closed
No longer open

Permanent - Full Time

Overview
  • Posting Dates
    Open: April 21, 2016 ()
    Close: April 25, 2016 ()
  • Position Properties
    General Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, And Compliance Series
    Internal Job Number: CIS-PJN-1679408-HLG
  • Organization Details
    Citizenship and Immigration Services
    Department Of Homeland Security
  • Salary Information
    $48,968.00 - $92,316.00 Per Year
    30% below average

    Pay Band: GS-1801-09/12
  • Who Can Apply?
    United States Citizens
Position Summary

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services secures America's promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system. Visit us at http://www.uscis.gov/ . Every day, our Immigration Services Officers grant or deny complex and highly sensitive applications and petitions for immigration benefits and provide assistance to other federal agencies in identifying individuals who pose a threat to national security and public safety. This position of IMMIGRATION SERVICES OFFICER starts at a salary of $48,968.00(GS-09 step 1), to $92,316.00 (GS-12 step 10). Apply for this exciting opportunity to become a member of the OFFICE OF FIELD OPERATIONS, DISTRICT 18, HARLINGEN, TX FIELD OFFICE within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here 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. Relocation expenses are authorized if you are assigned to the RAIO program and have been approved for rotation from an overseas assignment. Relocation expenses for employees assigned to an OCONUS location will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Note: USCIS may fill one or more positions using this vacancy.

Qualifications

GS-09:  You qualify at the GS-09 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience, equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in the federal government, which has equipped you with the skills needed to successfully perform the duties of the position. You must have experience performing the following duties:

  • Assisting individuals applying for immigration benefits that included analyzing documents for authenticity.
  • Researching and analyzing appropriate information.
  • Interpreting and applying immigration laws, polices and procedures. 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: You qualify at the GS-11 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience, equivalent to at least the GS-09 level in the federal government, which has 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 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, equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the federal government, which has 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.

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.

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.

COMBINING QUALIFYING EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION (GS-9 and GS-11 Grade Level 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:  http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/IORs/gs1800/1801a.htm

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.

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 (Monday, April 25, 2016).

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.

Travel Required
  • Occasional Travel
  • OCCASIONAL TRAVEL MAY BE REQUIRED.
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Duties

As an Immigration Services Officer, you will:

  • 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.

The duties 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.

Benefits
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 www.dhs.gov/careers and select ?benefits.?


Background Investigation: 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 Mythbuster 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: Veterans, Peace Corps/VISTA volunteers, Schedule A: You 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 and to understand the documentation that would be required with your application, click on the links above and contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement. We encourage you to apply to USCIS vacancies using these special hiring authorities.

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.

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