Asylum Officer

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Location
    Anaheim, California
  • Sector
    Government
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
    Feb-12-2018
  • Posted
    Feb 08

Position description

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 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 here for more information.

Every day, our Asylum Officers adjudicate asylum applications, conduct credible/reasonable fear screenings, and adjudicate other benefit applications managed by the asylum program, including motions to reopen and reconsider.

This position of ASYLUM OFFICER starts at a salary of $43,857 GS-09 step 1 grade level, with promotion potential to $82,680 GS-12 step 10 grade level.

Apply for this exciting opportunity to become a member of the Refugee, Asylum, & International Operations, Asylum Division within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Applicants may choose to be considered for ONE of the geographic locations listed in this announcement.

THE ACTUAL SALARY MAY BE HIGHER DUE TO AN ADJUSTMENT FOR LOCALITY PAY. To view the 2018 Locality Pay Charts click here.
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.

Responsibilities

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 ASYLUM OFFICER, you will:

  • 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.

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 drug screening.
  • Meet relevant experience and/or education requirements.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • Political appointees may require OPM approval before on-boarding.

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 02/12/2018.

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.

Qualifications

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.

Ideal 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.

OR

  • 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.

GS-11: You qualify at the GS-11 if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience, equivalent to at least the GS-9 level in the Federal government, which has equipped you with the skills needed to successfully perform the duties of the position. In addition to the requirements for the lower grade level, you must have experience performing the following duties:

  • 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.

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, 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.

GS-12: You qualify at the GS-12 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. In addition to the requirements for the lower grade levels, you must have experience performing the following duties:

  • 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.

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)
  • 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.

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.

Paid Internship 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. The applicant must provide their transcript for verification purposes.

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.

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.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on Globaljobs.org

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