How to Apply

There are many opportunities to join U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and begin or continue a meaningful career. Our job opportunity announcements are posted on USAJOBS; check out our job opportunities and review the information below for additional guidance on how to apply for a job with USCIS.

Two ways to apply for a position

There are two types of job opportunity announcements posted on USAJOBS.

Jobs Open to All U.S. Citizens

Some job announcements are open to all U.S. citizens. USCIS uses a competitive hiring process to select an applicant. This process includes an evaluation of the applicant’s education, experience, and other attributes needed for the position and may include a written test.

Jobs Open to Federal Employees

Some job announcements are available to permanent federal employees through the merit promotion process. This process provides current federal employees an opportunity to compete on the basis of their current or prior federal experience, education, competencies, and performance. Merit promotion may also be open to applicants under special hiring authorities.

How to apply for a position at USCIS

1. Create an account and search for job announcements on USAJOBS

  • Create an account on USAJOBS in order to save searches and apply.
  • Tip: Use the Saved Searches feature to have USAJOBS automatically search for jobs based on your search criteria and email you daily, weekly, or monthly.

2. Apply for an opening

  • Read the job announcement and follow all instructions carefully.
  • Check out the USAJOBS Resource Center for tips.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that your application is complete.
  • Follow all required steps and submit all required documents listed in the job announcement and any instructions outlined in subsequent email notifications. Review the below guidance for submitting your resume.
  • To monitor your application status, log in to your USAJOBS account. You will also receive written notifications to applicants during the application process.

Submitting your resume

You must submit a resume as part of the application process. If your resume is longer than five pages, the USCIS human resources office will only review the first five pages to determine your eligibility and qualifications for the position.

Using Resume Builder

Here are some important tips about using the USAJOBS Resume Builder.

  • Resume Builder does not show a page count while building a resume.
  • Resume Builder adds spaces and page gaps to resumes during the automated resume conversion process. This means that our human resources office may receive a version of your resume from Resume Builder with a different page layout than the one you viewed when you were building your resume.
  • We strongly recommend that if you use Resume Builder, you convert your resume to a PDF file, confirm that the first five pages contain all the necessary information, and then submit your resume as a PDF file.
  • You are responsible for manually checking your resume and ensuring that you include all content relevant to your eligibility and qualifications in the first five pages. Our human resources office will not read beyond the first five pages.

What to Include in Your Resume

The following items are the most relevant to your eligibility and qualifications for a position, and you should include them in the first five pages of your resume:

  • Your contact and location information
  • Your job objective(s)
  • A description of your work experience(s), with specific dates (month, date, year)
  • Your competencies and skills related to the advertised job
  • Your education, training, and certifications
  • Relevant volunteer work
  • Relevant interests, awards, references, and professional associations

What Not to Include in Your Resume

  • You should not include separate supporting documents or forms, such as DD Form 214s and other military service documents, Standard Form 50s, Standard Form 15s, transcripts, and cover letters.
  • If the job announcement requires separate supporting documents as part of your application, please submit these documents where prompted during the online application process.
  • Do not include certain personal information, such as your picture, Social Security number, date of birth or age, and health information.
  • If you have questions, please email or call the human resources office, using the email and phone number listed in the job announcement.

What happens after you submit your application

  1. Human resources (HR) specialists review your qualifications

  • HR specialists review all the self-assessments, resumes, and supporting documentation to determine the top-rated applicants.
  • The HR specialists will compare your resume with the minimum qualifications for the position.
  1. Top-rated applicants are referred to the hiring manager

  • Under competitive hiring, if you meet the minimum qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position, you are placed into one of three categories based on your rating: best-qualified, well-qualified, or qualified. Applicants in the top-rated category will be referred to the manager responsible for making the selection.
  • Under merit promotion, the HR specialist will provide the best qualified applicants to the hiring manager.
  • If a job announcement is advertised to non-competitive hiring authorities, all non-competitively eligible applicants meeting the minimum qualifications and eligibility requirements will be referred to the hiring manager. The hiring manager can select any of the referred non-competitively eligible applicants.
  1. The hiring manager reviews the referred applications

  • If you were referred, the hiring manager will review your application and other supporting documentation, such as a performance appraisal, to decide whether or not to interview you. Some offices may use interview panels to review applications.
  • Some offices may request that applicants submit writing samples or complete additional assessments.
  1. The hiring manager sets up interviews

  • For most positions, USCIS hiring managers will interview the top-rated applicants before making a selection.
  • Hiring managers may choose to interview one, none, or all of the referred applicants.
  1. The hiring manager makes a tentative selection

  • The hiring manager informs the HR specialist of the top choice for the position.
  • The HR specialist validates that the selection meets all applicable rules and regulations.

What happens after a selection is made

  1. If selected, you will receive a tentative job offer

  • An HR specialist or assistant will email you a tentative job offer, which will state your salary and other important information about the job opportunity and instructions for you.
  • The tentative job offer email will include a deadline by which you should respond with your acceptance or declination and provide any additional information.
  1. If you accept the offer, you will undergo a security investigation

  • You will receive instructions for completing the online security forms and scheduling your drug screening (if applicable) after you accept the position.
  1. Once you are cleared through security, the HR specialist or assistant makes the final offer

  • An HR specialist or assistant will contact you about formally accepting the position and scheduling your start date.
  1. You prepare to start your new job

  • An HR specialist or assistant will send you information on where and when to report for your first day, including a link to www.uscis.gov/newemployee and instructions on forms you must complete before your first day.
  1. Welcome to USCIS!

  • On your first day, you are sworn in and you complete the required first-day paperwork (such as the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification).
  • You attend an orientation session, either with a group of new employees or individually, depending on your office.
  1. USCIS notifies other applicants that a selection has been made

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