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Legal Careers

Chief Immigration Judge

Hiring Organization
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
Hiring Office
Office of the Chief Immigration Judge
Job ID
Falls Church, VA 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Chief Immigration Judge is responsible for providing general supervision and direction of Immigration Judges and other staff in assigned work. The Chief Immigration Judge also functions as the key advisor to the EOIR Director on all legal and administrative matters affecting the immigration courts.

The primary mission of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is to adjudicate immigration cases by fairly, expeditiously, and uniformly interpreting and administering the Nation's immigration laws. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR conducts immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings.

EOIR consists of three adjudicatory components: The Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, which is responsible for managing the Immigration Courts where Immigration Judges adjudicate individual cases; the Board of Immigration Appeals, which primarily conducts appellate reviews of these Immigration Judge decisions; and the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, which adjudicates immigration-related employment cases.

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

The Chief Immigration Judge manages, coordinates, and supervises all immigration courts and staff, including immigration judges, immigration court support personnel, and OCIJ administrative staff. Develops legal program plans and provides legal advice and counsel to the EOIR Director, Deputy Director, Deputy Chief Immigration Judges (DCIJs), Assistant Chief Immigration Judges (ACIJs), and immigration judges on matters pertaining to the Immigration and Nationality Act and all other laws and regulations affecting the immigration courts. Reviews and formalizes legal memoranda and legal opinions. Provides assistance to the General Counsel and Bar Counsel with appointment of adjudicating officials in practitioner discipline cases.

Determines and accounts for resource needs and allocates resources to accomplish the agency's mission.

Analyzes and evaluates judicial decisions to determine impact on immigration judges, court policies and procedures and/or the immigration judge program. Provides guidance on legal and regulatory changes and on processes for administrative and operational improvements.

Supervises directly, or through judge managers, all immigration judges, court administrators and court staff. Supervises directly or through delegation all OCIJ staff. Develops staffing structures, recruitment, appointment, training, development and assignment of staff.

Ensures adherence to Equal Employment, Merit System Principles, Diversity Management and other regulatory and Departmental guidance.


Mandatory Technical Qualification Requirements:

In addition to the managerial ECQs below, qualified candidates must possess the following technical qualifications. Possession of these technical qualifications must be clearly documented in your application package and should be addressed separately.

1. You must possess an LL.B or a J.D. degree from an ABA school of law and be duly licensed and authorized to practice law as an attorney under the laws of a state, a territory or the District of Columbia (include date of admission to bar); and have a minimum of seven (7) years of relevant, post-bar admission legal experience.

2. Comprehensive,professional knowledge of, and experience in immigration law and procedure, including regulatory, statutory, administrative and judicial case law, or the proven ability to become fully knowledgeable about a complex field of law and to apply that knowledge to specific cases. Judicial temperament to serve as an immigration judge to include the recognition of the rights of all parties in immigration proceedings, as well as the interest of the Government to conduct a fair and impartial hearing and a judicious and unbiased interpretation and application of US immigration laws.

3. Executive management and legal experience in court system management involving allocating, planning and directing of human and fiscal resources, supervision of staff, evaluation of program effectiveness and compliance with agency/organizational fair employment initiatives. Provides leadership to motivate and retain a productive, highly trained and specialized corps of immigration judges, court staff,and national management staff.

4. Leadership to manage legal staff in varied immigration courts throughout the country under challenging and sensitive domestic and international conditions, which may involve precedent and novel and complex foreign and domestic laws, covering a vast subject range that may substantially impact individuals and foreign governments and to communicate with staff, provide legal advice and guidance and to develop program and policy goals.

Application Process

Applications may be hand delivered, mailed or emailed. To avoid delays, we highly recommend hand carrying or emailing your application package. The email address is Applications must be received by email on the closing date of this announcement in the Human Resources Office, no later than 11:59 pm (EST) on November 19, 2015.

Applications can be mailed to: U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Administration Division, Office of Human resources, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2300, Falls Church, Virginia 22041. Attn: Naomi Giles. Applications must be received by mail on the closing date of this announcement in the Human Resources Office, no later than 5pm EST on November 19, 2015.


$121,956.00 to $183,300.00 / Per Year.

Number of Positions
Occasional and periodic travel may be required.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses will not be 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 April 7, 2016