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Legal Careers

Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Hiring Organization
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
Hiring Office
Office of the Chief Immigration Judge
Job ID
San Diego, CA; Boston, MA; New York (Federal Plaza), NY - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

EOIR's mission is to adjudicate immigration cases fairly, equitably, and efficiently at the trial and appellate level, governed by due process and the rule of law. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR conducts immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and other administrative hearings, applying the immigration laws while ensuring that adjudicators are impartial, that laws are applied humanely and equitable, that all parties are treated with respect and dignity, and that cases are resolved expeditiously and in accordance with the Administration's priorities and all applicable laws and regulations.

EOIR consists of three adjudicatory components: the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, which is responsible for managing the numerous immigration courts located throughout the United States where immigration judges adjudicate individual cases; the Board of Immigration Appeals, which primarily conducts appellate reviews of the immigration judges' decisions; and the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, which adjudicates immigration-related employment cases. EOIR's Headquarters is located in Falls Church, Virginia, about 10 miles from downtown Washington, DC.

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

As Assistant Chief Immigration Judge, the incumbent serves as a principal assistant to the Chief Immigration Judge and/or Principle Deputy Chief Immigration Judge and Regional Deputy Chief Immigration Judges in managing and coordinating Immigration Judge activities throughout the United States and in supervising the administrative operations of the program. As necessary, the incumbent also presides as an Immigration Judge in formal, quasi-judicial hearings, and enters decisions that are final, subject to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals.


  • Assisting the Chief Immigration Judge and/or Deputy Chief Immigration Judge in managing and coordinating Immigration Judge activities and in supervising the administrative operations of the program.
  • Assisting in development of policy and procedure for the operations of the program, determining and accounting for resource needs, evaluating and adjusting broad objectives as needed, determining need for and effecting changes in organizational structure and delegation of authority, and establishing effective internal and external communication channels.
  • Participating with the Chief Immigration Judge and/or Principle Deputy Chief Immigration Judge and Regional Deputy Chief Immigration Judge in the formulation of Executive Office for Immigration Review programs and policies.
  • Analyzing programs and projects and prepares reports to the OCIJ leadership, recommending adoption or rejection of policy changes.
  • Providing legal counsel and advice to the OCIJ leadership on matters pertaining to the Immigration and Nationality Act and all other applicable law.

In order to qualify for the Assistant Chief 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 court or administrative agency proceedings at the Federal, State or local level. Qualifying trial experience involves cases in which a complaint was filed with a court or administrative agency, or a charging document (e.g., indictment, notice of violation, or information) was issued by a court, administrative entity, a grand jury, or appropriate military authority. Relevant administrative experience includes cases in which a formal procedure was initiated by a governmental administrative body.

NOTE: Qualifying experience is calculated only after bar admission.


If your resume does not support your assessment questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s). Ensure that your resume contains your full name, address, phone number, email address, and employment information. Each position listed on your resume must include: From/To dates of employment (MM/YYYY-MM/YYYY or MM/YYYY to Present); agency/employer name; position title; Federal grade level(s) held, if applicable; hours, if less than full time; and duties performed. In addition, any experience on less than a full time basis must specify the percentage and length of time spent in performance of such duties.

Application Process

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications listed above.

Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications will be further evaluated to determine those who are best qualified. This determination will be based, in part, on the following Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs):

  1. Ability to demonstrate the appropriate temperament to serve as a judge.
  2. Knowledge of immigration laws and procedures.
  3. Litigation or adjudication experience, preferably in a high volume judicial or administrative context.
  4. Experience handling complex legal issues.
  5. Experience conducting administrative hearings or adjudicating administrative cases.
  6. Experience serving in a managerial or supervisory capacity, preferably of judges, attorneys or other legal professionals.

Applicants are required to address each of the six (6) QRFs in narrative form, to the best of the applicant's ability. A response stating only that the applicant does not have experience will not be considered as addressing the affected QRF. Applicants that do not have experience within a specific factor should instead discuss a similar skill/ability/knowledge/experience for evaluation. Failure to address each factor at this minimum level will result in an ineligible determination. The QRFs must be addressed on a separate document which indicates the number of the specific QRF you are addressing. Applicants should be thorough in addressing the QRFs. For example, applicants addressing QRF #3 (litigation or adjudication experience) should discuss the approximate number of cases or matters handled in a given period of time, the applicant's specific role (e.g. adjudicator, first chair, co-counsel, responsible for the written brief only, etc.), and the length of time involved in a given role (e.g. lead counsel in 20 immigration proceedings in 10 years). Applicants should also include specific examples of the types of cases (asylum application, plea, settlement, bench trial, jury trial, etc.), the number of court and administrative appearances made in those cases, and the case dispositions (ruling on the merits, plea or similar resolution, settlement, trial, jury trial, etc.) Conclusory statements (such as "the applicant has been involved in a substantial amount of litigation") without further elaboration will receive little or no weight in the evaluation of the QRFs.

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package by 11:59 PM (ET) on 11/22/2022, the closing date of this announcement, which includes:

  1. Your Resume documenting seven (7) years of post-bar admission legal experience in litigation and/or administrative law; Cover Letter optional.
  2. Document(s)addressing the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs). (See "How You Will Be Evaluated" section.)
  3. Writing Sample demonstrating your ability to author legal documents.(One (1) document, not to exceed 10 pages.)
  4. Current or former Federal employees must provide copies of their most recent Performance Appraisal and their latest SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.
  5. Other Supporting Documents, if applicable:
    • Veterans' Preference Documentation: Although the veterans' preference point system does not apply to this position, we accept preference claims and adjudicate such claims per the documentation provided. Note: If claiming 5-point veterans' preference, include a DD-214 or statement of service. If claiming 10-point veterans' preference, include an SF-15 and documentation required by that form, VA or military letter dated 1991 or later, and DD-214.
    • Any other supporting documentation required for verification as described in the announcement.

Note: Ensure that your resume contains your full name, address, phone number, email address, and employment information. Each position listed on your resume must include: From/To dates of employment (MM/YYYY-MM/YYYY or MM/YYYY to Present); agency/employer name; position title; Federal grade level(s) held, if applicable; hours, if less than full time; and duties performed. In addition, any experience on less than a full time basis must specify the percentage and length of time spent in performance of such duties.

Failure to submit the documents listed above with your application package will result in your application package being removed from consideration.


$160,544 - $187,300 per year

Number of Positions
There is one vacancy for each location. Applicants must select which location(s) they want to be considered for.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation Expenses

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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 November 9, 2022