This position of ASYLUM OFFICER starts at a salary of $43,857 GS-09 grade level, step 01, with promotion potential to $82,680 GS-12 grade level, step 10.Learn more about this agency
THE ACTUAL SALARY MAY BE HIGHER DUE TO AN ADJUSTMENT FOR LOCALITY PAY. To view the 2018 Locality Pay Charts click here.
You may choose to be considered for ONE of the locations.
- 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.
- Adjudicate complex and highly sensitive immigration benefits, asylum applications, other benefit applications managed by the asylum program, including motions to reopen and reconsider, and conduct credible/reasonable fear screenings.
- Review applications and supporting evidence, conduct interviews, and research appropriate information provided by the Refugee, Asylum and International Operations Directorate, the Department of State, and other sources.
- Interpret and apply appropriate policy, regulations, statutes, and precedent decisions to make eligibility determinations.
- Produce written assessments supporting asylum, NACARA, credible fear and reasonable fear decisions.
- Establish and maintain liaison with external federal agencies and non-governmental organizations, and/or private sector stakeholders involved in asylum benefits.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
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 07/06/2018.
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.
QualificationsIdeal candidates for the Asylum Officer position include individuals with graduate degrees in public policy, political science, public administration, diplomacy, international relations or studies, philosophy, clinical psychology, law, social work, anthropology, mass communication, journalism, history, or economics. Ideal candidates should possess strong verbal, written and analytical skills, as well as experience formulating and articulating research-based findings in time-sensitive environments.
GS-9: You qualify at the GS-9 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience, equivalent to at least the GS-7 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 by examining supporting documentation for authenticity and relevance, as well as researching and analyzing appropriate information for eligibility; and,
- Interpreting and applying immigration laws, policies and procedures as they relate to an individual's eligibility for immigration benefits.
- You may substitute a Master's or equivalent degree, or two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree, or a J.D. or L.L.B degree for experience required at the GS-9 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. This education must be in one of the following areas: public policy, political science, public administration, diplomacy, international relations or studies, philosophy, clinical psychology, law, social work, anthropology, mass communication, journalism, history, economics, or a related degree field.
- Recommending final determinations on or representing applicants in non-sensitive, routine hearing or appeal requests involving immigration matters that includes determining applicant credibility, analyzing evidence, and applying statutory requirements, regulations and judicial and administrative precedents.
- 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, or L.L.M. for experience at the GS-11 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 three years of graduate study. If that information is not available, use 54 semester or 81 quarter hours. This education must be in one of the following areas: public policy, political science, public administration, diplomacy, international relations or studies, philosophy, clinical psychology, law, social work, anthropology, mass communication, journalism, history, economics, or a related degree field.
- Preparing legal briefs or other written memoranda that advocate for sensitive and complex hearing or appeal cases involving eligibility for asylum, suspension of deportation, or other immigration benefits; or,
- Making final determinations on complex asylum, refugee, or other immigration cases involving eligibility for protection and resettlement and writing final determinations with legal analysis to support decisions.
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.
Applicant's work as part of a paid internship, for which course credit is not received, may be evaluated as work experience. It is the applicant's responsibility to clearly identify in their resume any paid internship that would qualify for consideration. Applicant must provide their transcript for verification purposes.
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.
Training: If you have not already done so, you will be required to attend the residential, paid RAIO Combined Training course and the Division-specific course(s), that relate to this position, at a USCIS training facility. Depending on the position, the courses may last up to nine weeks, including six weeks of residential training and three weeks of online training. In addition, if you have not already done so, you will be required to attend the residential, paid BASIC Immigration Officer training program, lasting six weeks, at a USCIS training facility. The trainings must be completed successfully 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.
Travel: Frequent travel is required for this position. Asylum Officers are required to travel to circuit-ride locations (locations established to serve applicants in distant locations from the home asylum office, generally at other USCIS District Offices and detention facilities) to conduct interviews. As immigration emergencies arise, selectee may be required to travel to other locations as well, sometimes for extended periods, to conduct interviews.
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.
USCIS may fill one or more positions using this vacancy.
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
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
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
You will be evaluated for this position based upon information reflected in your resume. Your resume must support your responses to the job specific assessment questionnaire, 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.
- Attention to Detail
- Customer Service
- Influencing/ Negotiating
- Interpersonal Skills
- Stress Tolerance
- Oral Communication
- Interpersonal Skills
- Technical Competence
- Organizational Awareness
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 called for an interview. To preview the job questionnaire, click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10246099.
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 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 95 for this position. 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. You are highly encouraged to save your resume to a PDF document and upload the PDF document in lieu of submitting your resume created through Resume Builder or other such programs(I.E. Word, Google Docs, Etc.). This helps ensure you meet the 5-page resume limit.
- Your responses to the job questionnaire https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10246099(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 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 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.
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
To apply for this position, you must complete the initial online questionnaire, the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments, and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application process will follow the bullets outlined below. Notifications are provided to correspond with each step that is outlined below.
- Click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the initial online questionnaire.
- Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package. It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.
- If you log into your USAJOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, select the Application status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
- To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.
- Once you submit your initial online application (i.e., online questionnaire), you may not go back and edit your assessment responses. Please review your answers carefully.
- When you receive a notification from your USAJOBS account it may indicate that your application is complete after you submit the initial online questionnaire and documentation, however, your application will NOT be complete until you have successfully completed the next step described below.
- You must complete the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments within 48 hours after the close of this Job Announcement to be eligible for this position. Your results will be kept on record for use when applying for future jobs that require the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments. You will not be allowed to re-take them for one year.
- Before attempting to take the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments, you should visit https://usahire.opm.gov/assess/default/sample/Sample.action to determine if the computer you are using is likely to experience any issues during testing. If you have questions about the computer requirements or require technical assistance please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you accidentally deleted the invitation to the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments or otherwise need the information re-sent (e.g., you feel you have not received it due to a SPAM filter), you should contact email@example.com to request the invitation to be re-sent. Requests to re-send invitations to the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments must be received by firstname.lastname@example.org BEFORE the close of the JOA.
Reasonable Accommodation Requests: If you believe you have a disability (i.e., physical or mental), covered by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended and Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 as amended, that would interfere with completing the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments, click here for more information about the request process: https://help.usastaffing.gov/Apply/index.php?title=Reasonable_Accommodations_for_USA_Hire. Requests for Reasonable Accommodations for the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments must be received before the JOA closes to be considered for this job opening. Decisions on requests for Reasonable Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. After notification of the adjudication of your request, you will receive an email invitation to complete the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments. If the email invitation is sent prior to the close of the Job Opportunity Announcement to which you applied, you must complete all of the assessments within 48 hours of the closing of the Job Opportunity Announcement. If the email invitation is sent after the close of the Job Opportunity Announcement to which you applied, you must complete all of the assessments within 48 hours from the time the email is sent.
Agency contact information
HROC Staffing Help Desk
70 Kimball Ave
South Burlington, VT 05403
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 to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- 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.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/503612900. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.