Immigration officer

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Immigration officers make decisions on whether people have the right to visit or stay in the UK.

Salary Range: £21,000 to £36,000

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You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
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You could do a college course which would teach you some of the skills needed in this role. After you finish your course you could apply for a trainee immigration officer post.

Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Public Services

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3
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You could join the Civil Service as an assistant immigration officer. Once working, you could apply for a post as an immigration officer when vacancies become avialable.

Direct application

You could apply directly for immigration officer jobs with the Civil Service. The qualifications and experience you’ll need will depend on the exact job you’re applying for, but you’ll usually find it useful to have:

  • 2 A levels at grade C or above
  • a degree for some jobs
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to speak another language

More information

Further information

You can find more details about working as an immigration officer from Civil Service Careers and UK Visas and Immigration.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • excellent written communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • be a UK citizen
  • pass security checks
  • pass enhanced background checks
  • pass a medical check
  • have a full driving licence
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Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • interviewing people entering the country
  • arranging for people to go back to the country they came from
  • organising places in holding centres, for example for people claiming asylum
  • monitoring people and gathering information through surveillance work
  • working on joint operations with police and Border Force officials
  • visiting and interviewing people who are suspected of not having the right to remain in the UK

Working environment

You could work at an airport, at a border post or at a port.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you’ll travel often.

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With experience, you could become a chief immigration officer or higher executive officer in the Civil Service.