This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply


Department:Department Of Homeland Security

Agency:Citizenship and Immigration Services

Job Announcement Number:CIS-PJN-1110983-PUB

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$72,620.00 to $115,301.00 / Per Year


Monday, May 12, 2014 to Friday, May 16, 2014




Full Time - Permanent




3 vacancies in the following location(s):
Denver, CO View Map
Atlanta, GA View Map
Philadelphia, PA View Map


United States Citizens


Public Trust - Background Investigation




Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

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

Everyday our Public Affairs Specialist, respond to requests for information concerning U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) programs and policies from all media including the press, television, and radio at the local, national, and international levels.

This position of PUBLIC AFFAIRS SPECIALIST starts at a salary of $72,620.00(GS-12 step 1), to $115,301.00 (GS-13 step 10).  Apply for this exciting opportunity to become a member of the Office of Communications, Media Relations Division, Atlanta, GA or Philadelphia, PA or Denver, CO within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

THE ACTUAL SALARY MAY BE HIGHER DUE TO AN ADJUSTMENT FOR LOCALITY PAY.  To view the 2012 Locality Pay Charts click on the following link:


For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here

This position is not in the bargaining unit.
This position is 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.


  • Not Required


  • No


  • 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
  • Meet relevant experience and/or education requirements
  • You must submit resume and supporting documentation
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service


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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.


As a Public Affairs Specialist, within the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Office of Communications, you will respond to requests for information concerning U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) programs and policies from all media including print, television, and radio at the local and regional levels. You will: 


  • Responds to requests for information concerning Agency programs and policies from all media including print, television, and radio at the local and regional levels.
  • Responds to concerns from local Congressional offices, other governmental offices and the general public regarding recent events and news items, as well as background information.
  • Maintains working relationships with representatives of the media; federal, state, and local governments; and members of professional, business, civic, and other public interest organizations. Establishes and maintains working relationships with local and regional Agency leadership.
  • Responsible for informing the public of relevant Agency policies and practices, enhancing the Agency image, monitoring public attitudes towards the Agency, and developing and disseminating information and educational materials.
  • Responsible for providing guidance to field offices concerning procedures relating to specific requests from the media, specialized groups and community and government entities.



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GS-12: 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:

  • Develops and writes information material designed to reach local and or national audiences through news media, such as wire service, radio, television, newspaper, and the Internet.
  • Provides guidance, assistance and consultation to the field offices concerning Agency procedures relating to responding to specific requests from the media or the general public.
  • Assist in the preparation of policy statements, attends meetings and conferences, and arranges interviews with Agency personnel, as required.


GS-13: In addition to the requirements at the lower grade level(s), you qualify at the GS-13 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience, equivalent to at least the GS-12 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:

  • Writing a variety of articles, news releases and speeches to specialized audiences about complex programs, activities and functions.
  • Planning, coordinating and advising on information dissemination campaigns relating to agency/organization programs. 
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with national representatives of the media and public interest organizations. 
  • Evaluating the impact and effectiveness of communications plans and advising management on improvements.

Educational Substitution:  There is no educational substitution at these grade levels.

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 (Friday, May 16, 2014).


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.


We will review your résumé 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:

  • Oral Communication
  • Analytical Skills
  • Written Communication
  • Reasoning Skills
  • Customer Service
  • Spanish Communication

 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 View Assessment Questions

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles:  If you have never worked for the Federal government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible.  Information about ICTAP or CTAP 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:   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.  



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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 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.


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, and individuals 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 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. 


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



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Your application must be received by 11:59PM EST on Friday, May 16, 2014.  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 may FAX your resume, assessment questionnaire, and supporting documents to (478)757-3144. You must print a copy of OPM Form 1203-FX, document your responses to the assessment questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire, and use the official FAX cover sheet found here.

If you do not have access to a computer or fax, you must contact the Human Resource office listed below at least one day prior to the closing date for instructions.  Applications will not be accepted by mail.

To Fax a Resume or Supporting Documents:

If you previously uploaded documents to this vacancy, please do not FAX the same documents. If you need to fax a part of your documentation:

  • Use the official FAX coversheet found here.
  • Make sure that you include the 7-character vacancy identification number: "1110983”
  • Provide your SSN, name, and address in the blocks provided or we will not be able to associate your document(s) with the rest of your application.
  • Print your SSN and Name neatly using the exact name as the one used when you filled out the assessment questionnaire.
  • The fax number is 1-478-757-3144.


  • Your resumé

  • Are you a veteran?  Submit Member Copy 4 of your DD 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty).  Those applying for 10-point preference 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.  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.  Click here for 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.



Phone: (802)660-1144
Agency Information:
US Citizenship and Immigration Services
70 Kimball Avenue
South Burlington, VT


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.

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