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US Citizenship and Immigration Services Employee Reviews about "asylum"

Updated Oct 6, 2020

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3.3
50%
Recommend to a Friend
22%
Approve of CEO
US Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director James McCament
James McCament
45 Ratings
Pros
  • "USCIS has a focus on work/life balance if you're a HQ employee and fosters telework(in 16 reviews)

  • "Working at USCIS allows you to feel like you have made a difference in the lives of others(in 12 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "I only stayed at USCIS for about a year and a half before I moved out of state for another pay grade promotion with a different Agency(in 8 reviews)

  • "The time provided to do interviews, update systems, and write up cases in insufficient and forces Asylum Officers to engage in unpaid overtime(in 7 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
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    Reviews about "asylum"

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    1. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Challenging and rewarding position

      Aug 3, 2020 - Asylum Officer in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      At the forefront of asylum immigration issues

      Cons

      There can be a high case load at times

      1 person found this review helpful
    2. 1.0
      Former Employee

      Warning! High Turnover, Terrible Management, and High Case load waits Asylum Officers

      Oct 6, 2020 - Asylum Officer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      A government job with sick and annual leave. They do provide health insurance, which you will need due to the toxic work environment you will most likely find yourself in.

      Cons

      The time provided to do interviews, update systems, and write up cases in insufficient and forces Asylum Officers to engage in unpaid overtime. If you get a backlog of cases, you may be written up and I have know people to fired for having a backlog. Managers (management) quality is very low. You are likely to get a bad manager and your experience will be terrible. You are viewed as only working there to make management look good. Promotion tends to be based on friends and who you know. The IT systems Asylum Officers use is 40 years old (USCIS tried to upgrade and failed). This makes doing the job very hard. You will be forced to engage in long trainings (the usefulness is debatable) in remote locations of the US to keep your job. USCIS tried to upgrade the systems spending 3 billion and failed. You will discover that RAIO is only interested in numbers. You will be forced to do weekly trainings that take away from your time to process cases.

      Continue reading
      4 people found this review helpful
    3. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Stay Away from RAIO

      Jun 9, 2020 - Asylum Officer in Miami, FL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Government benefits. If you buy back your military time it helps to retire earlier and from the beginning you earn more annual leave (6hrs) then the starting 4hrs. This is the government in general not specific to just this agency. You feel like you can actually change people’s lives who actually deserve it.

      Cons

      This is for the RAIO side of immigration. The other side of immigration isn't as bad as this side. Stay on the other side if you are all ready there. Asylum in the Miami office. Forget about it! Before we dive into that. You have to be trained and if you don’t pass training you may lose your job! The training absolutely is the worst I have ever been in. They are in no way shape or form trying to help you succeed. They just want numbers. The last I heard they wanted 500 officers but they hired 1000. So what does that tell you. It helps if you have an Asylum immigration background as a lawyer. You’ll have to study but much more if you are off the street and have no immigration Asylum background or knowledge. Now the Miami office- it seems like management is afraid of making decisions and even the simple ones. People are very nice and very helpful but you have to pass the 3 phase gauntlet which once agin you can lose your job if you don’t pass; and they let you know it. After all of that, the work is sooooo stressful and pretty much everyone wants to leave as soon as they see what’s going on. Truly good luck if you pursue this!

      Continue reading
      8 people found this review helpful
    4. 1.0
      Former Employee

      It is not OK! High turnover and Unreasonable case load requirements, await Asylum Officers!

      Aug 22, 2019 - Asylum Officer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The US Government does provide a form of a IRA, health insurance, and vacation. Many people are motivated to help people when the seek a job as an Asylum Officer.

      Cons

      The time provided to do interviews, update systems, and write up cases in insufficient and forces Asylum Officers to engage in unpaid overtime. If you get a backlog of cases, you may be written up and I have know people to fired for having a backlog. Managers quality is very low. You are likely to get a bad manager and your experience will be terrible. You are viewed as only working there to make management look good. Promotion tends to be based on friends and who you know. The IT systems Asylum Officers use is 40 years old. This makes doing the job very hard. You will be forced to engage in long trainings (the usefulness is debatable) in remote locations of the US to keep your job. USCIS tried to upgrade the systems spending 3 billion and failed. You will discover that RAIO is only interested in numbers. You will be forced to do weekly trainings that take away from your time to process cases.

      Continue reading
      13 people found this review helpful
    5. 3.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Civil Service - don't rock the boat

      May 15, 2019 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Altruistic asylum officers Great public service Outstanding benefits

      Cons

      Offices don't collaborate to share best practices Status quo trumps continuous improvement Toxic union environment Annual performance reviews - everyone somehow is superstar Everything is a priority therefore nothing is a priority - always putting out fires which cause other fires to flare up

      Continue reading
      2 people found this review helpful
    6. 3.0
      Former Intern, more than 1 year

      SF Asylum: Resume builder with a peak into a hot political topic

      Jan 5, 2017 - Student Trainee in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Work in the city, easy commute with BART. -Lax dress for government, influenced by the rest of poorly dressed San Francisco. -Flexible/No Stigma- calling off of work for legitimate reasons comes with negative vibes from management - Exposure to what is likely the most diverse government office on a minute to minute basis, No typical asylum seeker. -Foot in the door if government is your thing, Public trust -Looks Great on Resume and is good for conversation during interview.

      Cons

      -No mentorship, formal training, or self guided training program. No credit/merit for completing agency's own occupational coursework. No one pays much attention to each other. period. -Subject to government pay scale -Terrible office. No windows, very confined/crowded.This is the worst part of the job.

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    7. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      SWEAT SHOP - run by the bottom of the barrel individuals

      Jan 11, 2018 - Asylum Officer in Arlington, VA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      You will help a small percentage of deserving applicants, but nearly most of the applicants have stories that passes management's guidelines of continuing on in the asylum process, but you will not believe or one second that what they are saying is de-facto, rather heavily coached either by their lawyer or learned the ropes in the detention center grape-vine.

      Cons

      Management is completely number focused, i.e. pass through as many cases as possible, as those are the only ones that count for DHS budgetary purposes - to meet their grade-increase. Management is grossly incompetent, back-stabbing, insulting, treat you like kids in a summer camp and many are 2nd-tier law school graduates that couldn't make it as a lawyer or even a government attorney for the family court, district court or any court. They took their safety job option and have no real-world management experience, but have the typical mind-set and personality traits of a lawyer. Looking to take you apart, looking for self gain, looking at the dollars that could be theirs - and they get it by squeezing the life out of the constant churn of new probationary officers that literally have no rights or protection for the year that they are under probation. If you come in through the military or other government programs, then your butt is theirs for 2 years. The ramping-up will be incessant, you will hate getting up in the morning. You listen to stories of torture and persecution and unlike the DoD or any other government organizations, where time is built in to deal with 2nd-hand psychological trauma, you are told to "make sure you take care of yourself." WITH WHAT TIME? Most people work 10 hour days to meet their quota but since we are only allowed to clock-in 8, you eat the rest. You are mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted every single day and your daily sprinting for 4 months, 6 months and 8 months will get you nothing. If you falter and don't agree with their logic for why the cases should go through and instead take the time to do a proper negative case, you will fall behind, as it takes longer. Your own integrity might become your biggest weakness. If you don't churn out the number of cases that they want and keep in mind this is with the constant ramp-up, month after month... You will be terminated and your personal record will reflect that you were terminated. Do not take this job unless your rent is due, you have exhausted all your financial resources and you have no other government prospects. If you mis-step, you will NOT have a career in the government. The management thinks like lawyers, they will shut all doors and make sure that you are left out in the cold. They have no working integrity for national security or doing the right thing, just their own pay-check. They are lawyers at heart and training and did not go to management school. Don't be fooled, the 2 month management training does not reverse their nature nor the 3 years of education that were grooming them to be legal eagles. They are fallen eagles with their talons fully intact, who are now praying on you. The annual turn-over is nearly 50% and if you look at the team photos around the office from years past, you will see no recognizable faces, with exception for the director and deputy director - because anyone with any sense if they have not been terminated would have left in little over a year.

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      45 people found this review helpful
    8. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      This is a bad gamble...

      Apr 16, 2017 - Asylum Officer in Arlington, VA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      There are a minority of objective seniors and supervisors and you might luck out and be assigned one. You will learn to think extraordinarily fast, as the work will be on a constant ramp-up schedule. Where as it takes 3 to 6 months to normalize, you will be sprinting and your intellect and body (it's exhausting work) will be constantly conditioned and reaching for YET... another second wind... Until you burn out and quite either at 2 years end or sooner than that as it's becoming more and more evident. It's a bit like joining the olympics or special forces, white/o really signing up for it....

      Cons

      ... you will be faster and better, but for any reason you lag behind, such as the march of Buton, you will be dealt with and 'severely' reviewed in preparation for 'termination' The mindset of leadership betrays the disciplines and mindset of a attorney training and schedule. The officers of the Asylum Division receive managerial guidance in the format of opposing council notifications, rather than the fostering spirit of individuals, that is mos common in typical management role, even taking into account that this is a government job. Contrary to DHS's primary mission objective, leadership and seniors are rewarded based on number of cases completed by their underlings, so little regard is given to cases requiring time beyond the pre-determined time window. The paper chase follows the money trail.

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      33 people found this review helpful
    9. 1.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Asylum Office: SETUP to FAIL. anyone with integrity, ethics or competency need not apply

      Apr 1, 2018 - Asylum Officer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      You may get an office to yourself, with all the paper clips and staplers all setup for you because whoever you are replacing left in a hurry. You get a first hand horrific glimpse into how tax dollars are wasted, and a lesson in labor law and union "representation", due to the gross mismanagement and brutalizing egos of socially awkward and millennial minded supervisors and directors. you won't have to rent horror movies anymore, because you'll be living in one.

      Cons

      If you already have experience in the field of immigration, this is CAREER SUICIDE. Supervisors (Who routinely have no experience in it) will resent you and make your life hell. There is a 50% attrition rate and climbing, which means half of you will leave, by being forced out, and you will NEVER be able to work for the federal government again. The supervisors are grossly incompetent, and will SET YOU UP to FAIL, and spend their time undermining your work, instead of actually helping to address the issue of THEIR failing procedures. you will pay the price for their bad decisions, and they will gloat about it, since they are career federal employees and tough to fire. Supervisors and directors wholly operate with malicious intent and gross neglect in regards to the purpose of the agency, and are only concerned with getting a higher grade level and feathering their own nests. There is NO ACCOUNTABILITY whatsoever, from the supervisors, to the directors. The management at the asylum office ruins lives, and not just those of the applicants. OIG needs to investigate management, bring charges and overhaul this agency.

      Continue reading
      31 people found this review helpful
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