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Juno  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, August 18, 2010 7:15:02 AM(UTC)
Juno

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I am currently a GS-12, step 1 Immigration Services Officer with USCIS contemplating applying for Immigration Officer (FDNS) and wonder if anyone can comment on the following:
 
(1)  Is FDNS "frustrating", as some have told me, or is it more challenging/interesting than doing adjudications?
(2)  Is it wise to take a decrease in pay (GS-12 to GS-9), especially if the promotion potential is only up to a GS-9?
(3)  Would I be guaranteed the closest equivalent to my current pay (for example, GS-9, step 10)?
(4)  Am I correct in assuming that, if I get a GS-09, step 10, then that is the furthest I'll go?
 
Thank you for any advise you can give.
 
Beagle  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, August 18, 2010 1:45:27 PM(UTC)
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Juno wrote:
(1)  Is FDNS "frustrating", as some have told me, or is it more challenging/interesting than doing adjudications?

I'm not in CIS so you would know more but being in FDNS sounds more interesting than being an Immigration Service Officer.

(2)  Is it wise to take a decrease in pay (GS-12 to GS-9), especially if the promotion potential is only up to a GS-9?

No it is not wise, unless the experience will allow you to move to a GS-13 or higher position later.  I do see an Immigration Officer position at GS-13 so you can move up. 

(3)  Would I be guaranteed the closest equivalent to my current pay (for example, GS-9, step 10)?

http://www.opm.gov/faqs/QA.aspx?fid=e64d74ab-20a3-484c-8682-d2a2b46c22da&pid=354080bf-840c-458a-acf3-bc402508b687
 
Can an employee establish initial entitlement to grade or pay retention upon transfer to another agency?

 If an employee is reduced in grade or pay in conjunction with a transfer to another agency, there is no mandatory entitlement to grade or pay retention. However, the gaining agency may grant grade or pay retention under its optional authority (5 CFR 536.202 or 536.302), as long as the employee is otherwise qualified.

But since you are in the same agency then who knows?  It would depend on HR and the Hiring Authority.

(4)  Am I correct in assuming that, if I get a GS-09, step 10, then that is the furthest I'll go?
 
You can go as far as you want to go.  No one is stopping you from using your combined experience as a IO and ISO to move up the ladder.
 


Being a GS-12 isn't bad at all, if you are happy with what you are doing then I would stay there.  If you want more excitement and experience then go for it.

In the coming weeks I will turn down my dream job.  Why?  Because I'm working another dream job that will pay more then my originally dream job.  The original is more physical and "exciting" but I will work crazy hours whereas my current dream job I only have to work 8 hours and I will make a little more than my original dream job.
azul  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, August 18, 2010 8:55:57 PM(UTC)
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Juno,

If I read your post correctly, you are already an ISO, Isn't there FDNS officers that you work with on a regular basis, that can give you good advise on what they like and dislike about they duties.

mhc5096  
#4 Posted : Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:37:54 PM(UTC)
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Bad career move. Like you, I am a GS-12 ISO (Adjudicator) with USCIS. This current announcement is for a new position within FDNS the promotion potential is GS-09. To move any higher you will have to wait for an announcement to open and compete with everyone else.
 
I'm not sure where you currently work, but looking at the salary tables for "Rest of US" a GS-12, step 1 earns $68, 809 and bumps up to $71,102 after 52 weeks. A GS-09, Step 10 earns $61, 678 and aside from the annual cost of living inceases, that is what you will be capped at.
 
If you want to change over to FDNS, wait until a GS-11/12/13 position opens up.
CIS 2008-Present<br />ICE 2007-2008<br />CBP 2003-2007<br />INS 2001-2003<br /><br />USAFR 2009-2011<br />VTANG 1995-2009<br />USNR 1989-1995
azul  
#5 Posted : Friday, August 20, 2010 4:18:29 AM(UTC)
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On USAJOBS, I see there have vacancy for FDNS officer for GS-11/13.
Juno  
#6 Posted : Saturday, August 21, 2010 8:56:23 AM(UTC)
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Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.
 
Yes, I do work with FDNS officers, but there are only two of them, and that is where I found out that they are experiencing frustrations.  I also found out that contract employees used to do certain jobs with FDNS that now must be done by government workers--which is why this announcement came out.  Apparently part of the job requires being on the road, doing what we call "bed checks"--to see if people who are requesting immigration benefits based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen are, indeed, married to that person.  I do not think I would like that part of the job, as it would require not only dropping in on someone unexpectedly at the wee hours of the morning, but perhaps doing so in bad neighborhoods.  Thanks for the advise about the pay grade.  I will check the FDNS jobs at the higher grade level and will then decide if I am up to the challenge.
Mike in VT  
#7 Posted : Saturday, August 21, 2010 11:20:49 PM(UTC)
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are you sure it's the FDNS IOs that are conducting the bed checks?  I was under the impression that the Special Agents perform the "house calls" for the very reasons you described. 
Beagle  
#8 Posted : Sunday, August 22, 2010 3:10:12 AM(UTC)
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You mean Special Agents from another agency within DHS and not CIS since CIS does not have any.
Beagle2010-08-22 11:18:50
Mike in VT  
#9 Posted : Sunday, August 22, 2010 5:46:26 AM(UTC)
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I mean ICE.
mhc5096  
#10 Posted : Sunday, August 22, 2010 7:23:57 AM(UTC)
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These new FDNS Immigration Officers will be conducting site visits and "bed checks". Neither ICE/HSI or ICE/ERO performs that function.
CIS 2008-Present<br />ICE 2007-2008<br />CBP 2003-2007<br />INS 2001-2003<br /><br />USAFR 2009-2011<br />VTANG 1995-2009<br />USNR 1989-1995
Juno  
#11 Posted : Monday, August 23, 2010 10:06:17 AM(UTC)
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mhc5096 is correct about who will be performing these site visits, AKA "bed checks".  At least that is what I was told, according to presumed information, and it makes sense.  I did notice a vacancy in the Orlando area for FDNS Immigration Officer, at the GS-11/13 level, and if I am not mistaken, that position does not seem to be one that would require site visits.  Has anyone taken an interest in that vacancy, and if so, is that how you read it?  I do not want to move to Orlando, but I am hoping that a similar position will become available in another part of Florida, such as Tampa or Jacksonville.  Thanks again for any comments!  Wink
charlesriver  
#12 Posted : Thursday, August 26, 2010 2:49:32 AM(UTC)
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Does anybody know how many of these positions are being filled? Does each office only have one IO/FDNS?
nixon35  
#13 Posted : Thursday, August 26, 2010 8:36:06 PM(UTC)
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recieved an e-mail yesterday asking if i had a drivers license......wow, there mst be some travel involved in this then. does anyone know if this job is shift work. it seems like if they may have you doing "bed checks," you may be out either at night or early morning sometimes
azul  
#14 Posted : Thursday, August 26, 2010 9:19:21 PM(UTC)
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It did not mention any thing about shift work, I doubt very much if anyone is expected to make home visit at midnight. You will be driving a G-vehicle to make site visit, hence the valid driver license needed to be eligible.  
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