American Citizen Services (ACS) Assistant - #305828

U.S. Embassy & Consulates in South Africa

Date: 2 weeks ago
City: Tembisa, Gauteng
Contract type: Full time

The U.S. Mission in Johannesburg is seeking eligible and qualified applicants for a position of American Citizen Services (ACS) Assistant  in the Consular Section.


The American Citizen Services (ACS) Assistant provides both passport, citizenship, and special consular services for U.S. citizens in Post’s consular district. Serves as one of the primary points of contact for U.S. citizens in the consular district and maintains a network of public and private sector contacts who may be able to assist U.S. citizens. Communicates directly with citizenship applicants and U.S. citizens in distress and assists in the preparation of emergency messaging and website updates. Works with the ACS Chief, consular officers and other Post staff on crisis preparedness and response. Performs administrative duties and supports other consular section units as required.

The American Citizen Services (ACS) Assistant manages the provision of passport and citizenship services for the Consular Section’s ACS Unit. Performs intake of U.S. passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, and Loss of Nationality applications, as well as notarial requests. Ensures the requisite applications are complete and that necessary supporting documents and evidence are submitted in strict accordance with Chapters 7 and 8 of the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Processes cases to the point of final review and adjudication by a Consular Officer. Flags fraud concerns to the Consular Officer, ACS Chief and/or the Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) for further investigation as appropriate. The job holder ensures filing and record keeping is consistent with regulations and standard operating procedures. Develops and updates information sheets, instructions, letters, and documents, subject to Consular Officer clearance.
The job holder understands the complex nature of the FAM, INA, and all other laws, regulations, and legal precedents regarding citizenship transmission and procedures. Job holder must be aware of post-specific policies and keep abreast of ongoing changes to citizenship laws, passport procedures, and evolving guidance from the Bureau of Consular Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security. Advises and consults with the ACS Chief and other ACS Unit members on any changes to current practice and helps adjust the unit’s work and procedures accordingly. The job holder provides continuity, advice, and guidance to Consular Officers and Consular Associates, particularly where local law and practices manifest themselves in the unit’s work.

The job holder provides assistance to U.S. citizens in distress. This includes, but is not limited to, assisting victims of crime and destitute U.S. citizens, participating in welfare and whereabouts visits, and supporting hospital and prison visits. The job holder liaises with local hospitals, hotels, airports, prisons, guest houses, restaurants, shelters, travel agencies, airlines, and other local contacts to provide appropriate assistance. Builds and maintains a network of external contacts at these and other institutions who can assist U.S. citizens in distress. The job holder is an integral part of Post’s crisis management team and is responsible for acquiring and maintaining proficiency in Post’s crisis management software and actively participating in crisis management training exercises. The job holder prepares legal documents for consular notarial services.

The job holder serves as the main point of contact for all U.S. citizen customers, providing excellent customer service and positively representing the U.S. government. Drafts templates and respond to inquiries regarding U.S. nationality issues and policies, including loss of nationality. The job holder drafts individual responses to the full range of public and Congressional inquiries regarding passports and citizenship as well as special consular services. The job holder shares responsibility for the maintenance of Post’s MASCOT notification system and for the upkeep and distribution of sensitive and security-related information to U.S. citizens in the consular district.
The job holder communicates changes in policy guidance and new procedures to both internal and external contacts. Maintains regular communication and coordination with necessary contacts with local governmental and non-governmental organizations that are important to the ACS unit’s work – police, hospitals, airlines, customs, immigration, social welfare, emergency management, and other agencies – as well as with clubs and associations of U.S. citizens in the host country. The job holder counsels mission staff on the entire range of passport and citizenship matters, including office procedures, laws and regulations, policies, and consular applications.
The job holder helps plan and coordinate ACS outreach within the consular district, including outreach involving travel. The job holder helps maintain the ACS appointment system. Assists Consular Officers with updating ACS information on the Embassy website and in the Unit’s publications and handouts.

The job holder is responsible and accountable for proper handling of controlled items and information, including managing and safeguarding personally identifiable information (PII) of U.S. citizens daily; acting at all times in accordance with the Privacy Act; sharing responsibility with other ACS assistants and supervisors when dealing with EPDP books and foils, passport barcodes and consular seals. Job holder is personally accountable for receipt and safeguarding of numbered items. Maintaining and securing physical and electronic subject matter files and/or chronological files in accordance with Department regulations. Preparing, maintaining and submitting sensitive paper passport record to the Department according to the FAM.

The job holder also functions as a back-up supervisor; and/or lead/member of a specialized portfolio (such as training or outreach) as assigned.

NOTE: This position description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by job holder. Job holder will be required to perform other duties as assigned by the agency.


Successful completion of two (2) years of post-secondary study at a College or University is required.



Minimum two years of administrative work, case management, or customer service work experience.


Job Knowledge

  • Knowledge of local cultural, social, and legal environment.
  • Knowledge and skills of MS Word, Outlook, Excel, and Power Point are required.
  • Must be able to act independently and exercise sound judgment at all times.
  • Initiative, common sense, and tact are required to meet unexpected and unique situations. Discretion is required to uphold privacy rights of U.S. citizen customers.
  • Must be able to maintain working relationships with local officials; this includes representing Post with high-level contacts.
  • Must be able to work professionally and productively with contacts and customers from all backgrounds.


Language Proficiency:

Fluent; Speaking/reading/writing in English (This will be tested)


*All applicants under consideration will be required to pass medical and security certifications.


  • Basic Salary:  R 383, 857.00 – R 537, 395.00 per annum
  • Cash Benefits: R65, 691 - R 75, 943 per annum (Misc Benefit Allowance & 13th cheque)

Final salary is based upon a variety of factors


Other benefits include the following:

  • The U.S. Embassy contributes 70% of employees Medical Aid (Discovery Medical Aid)
  • Annual leave is 17 days which increases with years of service 
  • Employees qualify for SA and USA public holidays.
  • Provident Fund - Employer contribution -10.9%

Successful candidate must be able to obtain and hold a Local Security Certification or Public Trust clearance.  

If you have not heard back from us within two weeks after the submission date has closed, please consider your application unsuccessful for this vacancy.

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