All resumes submitted for USCIS job opportunities must not be longer than five (5) pages in length. To remain eligible for employment consideration for this Job Opportunity Announcement, you should confirm that your resume meets this requirement. If you use Resume Builder, you are encouraged to save your resume to a Word document and upload the Word document in lieu of submitting your resume created through resume Builder. This helps ensure you meet the 5-page resume limit.Learn more about this agency
This position of IMMIGRATION SERVICES ASSISTANT (OA) starts at a salary of $37,113 GS-05 grade level (step 01), with promotion potential to $59,762 GS-07 grade level (step 10).
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.
Note: USCIS may fill one or more positions using this vacancy.
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.
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.
- Manage correspondence, maintain customer support, and process documents and fees.
- Perform analysis on files, reports, and information systems or databases.
- Pre-screen various applications and submissions by USCIS customers for accuracy, completeness of initial supporting documentation, and eligibility for benefits.
- Analyze incoming requests for expedited services, provide expedited services, as appropriate, and processes requests for fee waivers.
- Explore all avenues of assistance available to customers, determine the benefit most advantageous if more than one exists, and educate the applicant as to the options available to them and the appropriate application(s) to file.
- Respond to inquires verbally in writing from internal and external customers.
- Conducts security checks.
Job family (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 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on the closing date of this announcement ( 05/18/2018).
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.
QualificationsGS-05: You qualify at the GS-5 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-4 grade level in the Federal government, with the skills needed to perform successfully the duties of the position. These duties will include:
- Performing complex office automation duties using word processing to edit and reformat lengthy correspondence and reports;
- Creating and maintaining spreadsheets and databases;
- Responding to inquiries by phone and/or in writing; and
- Reviewing and verifying accuracy and completeness of submitted documentation for benefits.
- Successful completion of a Bachelor's degree or a full 4-year course of study in any field leading to a Bachelor's degree for the experience required at the GS-5 level. This education must have been obtained from an accredited college or university. One year of full-time undergraduate study is defined as 30 semester or 45 quarter hours. Appropriate combinations of successfully completed post-high school education and experience also may be used to meet the total qualification requirements for the GS-5 grade level.
GS-06: You qualify at the GS-6 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 grade level in the Federal government, with the skills needed to perform successfully the duties of the position. These duties will include:
- Performing complex office automation duties requiring different approaches and methods from one assignment to another;
- Reviewing and screening applications for benefits to ensure validity and completeness of documentation submitted;
- Providing routine information and assistance on applications for benefits; and
- Maintaining subject matter files, technical instructions, and/or operating procedures.
- Analyzing and evaluating cases where screening or resolution of requests for benefits has been delayed and informing inquirers verbally or in writing of problems encountered and action required;
- Interviewing callers through pertinent questions to determine whether they qualify for benefits sought;
- Preparing various reports, brochures, and publications that highlight functions and activities; and
- Retrieving information from other software systems (e.g., databases, spreadsheets, graphics, and word processing) for inclusion in reports and publications.
Peace Corp Employees: In order to be eligible you have completed no less than 36 months of continuous service without a break in service of 3 days or more under section 7(a) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2506) which pertains to the appointment of Peace Corps staff (not volunteers);
Selected individuals under Peace Corps Volunteer and Peace Corps Employee are placed in a career or career-conditional appointment in the competitive service.
Please read the following IMPORTANT information to ensure we have everything we need to consider your application.
It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date. Your resume serves as the basis for qualification determinations and must highlight your most relevant and significant work experience and education (if applicable), as it relates to this job opportunity. Please be clear and specific when describing your work history as we cannot make assumptions regarding your experience. Your application will also be rated and ranked among others, 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)
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: 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.
Appropriate levels of post-secondary education can be used to qualify for the GS-05 level only.
General Office Skills: Applicants must possess knowledge of general office automation software, practices, and procedures.
Typing Certification: You must be able to type at least 40 words per minute based on a 5 minute sample with 3 or fewer errors.
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 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, Eligible Family Members: 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.
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.
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
We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the minimum qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, we will place you in one of three categories based on your responses to the on-line questionnaire regarding experience, education and training.
- 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.
The competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform this job are:
- Customer Service
- Manages and Organizes Information
- Technical Competence
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 fall into best qualified category, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview. To preview the job questionnaire, click here https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10209064 .
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 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 announcement.
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. 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, professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher. This position is not considered scientific/professional. For information on veterans' preference, 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.
Background checks and security clearance
- Your resume (No longer than 5 pages in length) that clearly demonstrates experience that meets the requirements of this position as outlined in the "Qualifications" section. If you use Resume Builder, you are encouraged to save your resume to a Word document and upload the Word document in lieu of submitting your resume created through Resume Builder. This helps ensure you meet the 5-page resume limit.
- Your responses to the job questionnaire https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10209064 (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 to support the educational substitution and/or basic educational requirement or a list of coursework with hours completed. (unofficial is acceptable). For verification purposes, the transcript submitted must include your name and institution. 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 the letter from the Veterans Administration, or other formal documentation, that clearly identifies overall rating of disability, AND your DD-214. 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 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.
- End date of volunteer service
- State that this volunteer service entitles you to non-competitive eligibility for Federal employment
- Your appointment type (position occupied)
- Grade and step
- Full performance level
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.
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.
How to Apply
Your application must be received by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on 05/18/2018. To begin your online application, click the Apply Online button and follow the prompts to register or sign into USAJOBS, take the online questionnaire, and submit the required documents. See Required Documents section for more detail.
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
AddressUS Citizenship and Immigration Services
70 Kimball Ave
South Burlington, VT 05403
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling on those who want to help protect American interests and secure our Nation. DHS Components work collectively to prevent terrorism; secure borders and our transportation systems; protect the President and other dignitaries; enforce and administer immigration laws; safeguard cyberspace; and ensure resilience to disasters. We achieve these vital missions through a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; Join DHS.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation's lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values. Visit us here for more information.
Every day our Immigration Service Assistants (OA), support the operations and services of International Operations by providing administrative support to Adjudications Officers, managing correspondence, maintaining customer support, conducting security checks in accordance with all applicable DHS/USCIS laws and policies, and tracking, researching, collecting, correlating and analyzing data in order to prepare reports.
Visit our careers page
Learn more about what it's like to work at Citizenship and Immigration Services, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.
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. We will notify you by email at various stages in the process (learn more). Your status will also be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process. To check your status, log on to your USAJOBS account, click on "Application Status," and then click "More Information." 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.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/499319000. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.