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Legal Careers

Appellate Immigration Judge

Hiring Organization
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
Hiring Office
Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)
Job ID
5107 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) at the Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking a highly-qualified individual to join our team of expert professionals who serve as Appellate Immigration Judges.

This is an Excepted Service position, subject to a probationary period. The initial appointment is for a period not to exceed 24 months. Conversion to a permanent position is contingent upon appointment by the Attorney General.

As the federal agency whose mission is to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, the Department of Justice is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. To build and retain a workforce that reflects the diverse experiences and perspectives of the American people, we welcome applicants from the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, religions, and cultures of the United States who share our commitment to public service.

Job Description

This position is in the Board of Immigration Appeals, within the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The incumbent reports to a Deputy Chief Appellate Immigration Judge, who in turn reports to the Chief Appellate Immigration Judge.

Appellate Immigration Judges must apply immigration laws impartially, humanely, and equitably and ensure that all parties are treated with respect and dignity. They also must resolve cases expeditiously, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, and consistent with the Department's priorities and policies.

Appellate Immigration Judges are commissioned to serve in formal, quasi-judicial proceedings to review the determinations of immigration judges in removal and related proceedings, and of certain officers of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in visa petition proceedings and other matters. All Appellate Immigration Judges review the record on appeal, including briefs, exhibits, and transcripts, and hear oral argument when appropriate. An Appellate Immigration Judge may concur or dissent based on their view of any given case. The majority of the Appellate Immigration Judges' duties fall into the general categories of removal proceedings, discretionary relief, claims of persecution, stays of removal, visa petitions, administrative fines, and bond and detention.

The majority of an Appellate Immigration Judge's duties will be dedicated to the appellate work, but an Appellate Immigration Judge must also be qualified, and may be called upon, to conduct trial level proceedings in the role of an immigration judge.

Appellate Immigration Judges make decisions that are final, subject to appeal to the Federal courts. In connection with these proceedings, Appellate Immigration Judges exercise certain discretionary powers as provided by law and are required to exercise independent judgment in reaching final decisions.


In order to qualify for the Appellate Immigration Judge position, applicants must meet all of the following minimum qualifications:

  • Education: Applicants must possess a LL.B., J.D., or LL.M. degree. (Provide the month and year in which you obtained your degree and the name of the College or University from which it was conferred/awarded.)


  • Licensure: Applicants must be an active member of the bar, duly licensed and authorized to practice law as an attorney under the laws of any state, territory of the U.S., or the District of Columbia. (Provide the month and year in which you obtained your first license and the State from which it was issued.)


  • Experience: Applicants must have seven (7) years of post-bar admission experience as a licensed attorney preparing for, participating in, and/or appealing formal hearings or trials involving litigation and/or administrative law at the Federal, State or local level. Qualifying litigation experience involves cases in which a complaint was filed with a court, or a charging document (e.g., indictment or information) was issued by a court, a grand jury, or appropriate military authority. Qualifying administrative law experience involves cases in which a formal procedure was initiated by a governmental administrative body.

NOTE: Qualifying experience is calculated from the date of your first admission to the bar.

In addition, successful applicants will have a strong combination of experience demonstrating that they will perform at the level of competence, impartiality, and professionalism expected of an Appellate Immigration Judge. For more information about relevant experience and knowledge, please see the "How You Will Be Evaluated" section.

Additional information

This is an Excepted Service position, subject to a probationary period. The initial appointment is for a period not to exceed 24 months. Conversion to a permanent position is contingent upon appointment by the Attorney General.

Additional positions may be filled from this announcement within 90 days of certificate issuance.

Alternative work schedule options are available.

There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to Appellate Immigration Judge appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in Appellate Immigration Judge hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must claim their status when completing their application in the online application process and attach supporting documentation. (See "Required Documents" section.)

Application Process

To apply for this position, please click the below link to access and apply to the vacancy announcement via USAJobs:
USAJOBS - Job Announcement. Please read announcement thoroughly. You must submit a complete application package by 11:59PM (EST) on 04/12/2024, the closing date of this announcement.


$156,924 - $204,000 per year

Number of Positions
50% or less - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation Expenses
Not authorized

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Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex - including gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy status - or because of age (over 40), physical or mental disability, protected genetic information, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit based factor.  The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.

Reasonable Accommodations:  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:  The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.   

Suitability and Citizenship:  It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment.  Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that their retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that they were transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

USAO Residency Requirement:  Assistant United States Attorneys must reside in the district to which appointed or within 25 miles thereof.  See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district specific information.

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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.

Updated March 14, 2024