Appeals Officer Jocelene
Job Title: Appeals Officer
Location: Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), Washington, D.C.
Appeals Officers review challenges to, and certifications of, the decisions made by USCIS adjudications officers on petitions and applications for immigration benefits. The goal is to ensure consistency and accuracy in the interpretation of immigration laws, regulations and policies. The Administrative Appeals Office also recommends and publishes precedent decisions to clarify adjudication issues.
How does your office promote work-life balance?
The AAO’s longstanding telework policy permits highly educated and motivated employees not only to perform substantive work in the area of immigration law, but also to maintain a better work-life balance. I truly appreciate the opportunity the AAO has given me to have an impact on the immigration process and still manage life’s other challenges.
How did you come to work at USCIS?
I joined USCIS in 2007 after working for the Department of State, serving as a consular associate in Jerusalem and later as a visa specialist in the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington, D.C. I joined the AAO as an Appeals Officer, adjudicating legalization applications and, later, employment-based petitions. I was immediately impressed by senior management’s efforts to go out of their way to get to know me, and the sense of fellowship among the employees. Working as a team, I have the privilege to work with experts in their particular area of immigration law, and to gain a more complex understanding of the relevant issues.
How does your office support professional development?
Appeals Officers have the opportunity to learn different petition types through branch rotations, as well as volunteering for details to other USCIS offices. I was able to travel to Jordan on a detail with Refugee Affairs and learn another aspect of immigration processing at USCIS. The opportunity to be trained in another field of work, travel abroad and explore a different culture is invaluable. My colleagues have traveled all over the world on similar details, as well as to other USCIS offices in the local area.