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Immigration Officer career guide

Being an immigration officer is more than asking firm questions. Interested? Then read on.

Safeera Sarjoo
16th February 2016
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What is an immigration officer?

When you think of an immigration officer the image of a man or woman asking stern questions and stamping passports usually comes to mind. Believe it or not, immigration officers have an incredibly important job when it comes to our safety. They are employed by the UK Border Agency and they monitor who comes in and out of the country. Airports are not the only place where they monitor entry. Immigration officers work at channel tunnels and sea-ports. It is important that they are aware of the latest legislation, rules and regulations.


What are their responsibilities?

In addition to enforcing immigration legislation immigration officers also

  • Observe passengers passing through passport control
  • Examine passports
  • Interview/question people
  • Carry out surveillance
  • Write reports
  • Organise the removal of passengers who do not qualify for entry


What are some charactertistics that suit this role?

People who suit this include those that do not shy away from responsibility and who doesn’t mind managing a complex workload.

Some other skills and qualities that would support a career as an immigration officer are

  • The ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Excellent spoken and communication skills
  • An adaptable nature especially when it comes to working as part of a team and individually
  • Good observation
  • A methodical approach to work


Entry Requirements and Training

 Surprisingly, there are no set qualification requirements, however many people will be educated to A level standard or higher. Any prior experience of working with the public in face to face settings will be helpful. In order to apply for an immigration officer position you will need the following,

  • Be 18 or over
  • Be a British citizen or British subject with no restrictions on your stay
  • Pass security clearance checks
  • Pass medical checks

Knowledge of a foreign language is useful but not necessary. In order to apply you would need to have lived in the UK got five years. If your application is successful then you will be invited to an assessment centre where you will be tested on your communication and decision making skills.

There will naturally be a period of training, which takes roughly nine weeks and will be based at an airport or at the port of Dover.

The training is split into roughly five weeks of classroom learning followed by four weeks of mentored practical work, which is supervised by trained officers. Within this time you can expect to learn immigration rules and regulations, casework, forgery detection methods, improving interview techniques and administration procedures.


Have a browse through our Immigration Law courses and get your career started!

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