How To Become An Immigration Officer

There are many different types of immigration officer employed by the United States Customs and Immigration Services. All officers serve the important process of regulating immigration into the United States and ensuring that everyone seeking to live in the U.S. does so legally and with positive intent.

Education Requirements for Immigration Officers

Many immigration officer jobs and careers require a certain level of education. In most cases, a degree in criminal justice or police science will help you get the job. These careers will prepare you for interviewing people, investigating illegal activity, preparing official reports, public service and community relations, all of which are necessary skills for being an officer of immigration law.

Other Basic Requirements

In addition to having the proper academic or educational credentials, you will be required to pass certain other criteria before you can become an immigration officer. This criteria includes:

  • United States Citizenship – You must be a U.S. citizen and have lived full-time in the United States for at least three years of the five years prior to your application date.
  • Clean Records – You must have a clean driving record and maintain an up-to-date driver’s license. You must also have a clean criminal record, similar to if you were applying for a position as a police officer.
  • Stay Fit – Because the position of immigration officer may require you to be active, part of the job requirements may involve you staying fit and healthy before you apply.

Types of Immigration Officer

There are several different types of immigration officer. Depending on your particular interests, you may want to choose one type over others.

You may apply to become a deportation officer and focus on violations of immigration law. Your job will consist of conducting research in an office.

Detention and deportation officers work closely with deportation officers but do the field work instead of the research work.

Special agents are involved in communication with other federal agencies to conduct criminal or terrorist investigations involved with illegal investigation, and they split their time between an office and the field.

Immigration enforcement officers conduct the basic immigration enforcement procedures involved in ensuring that all immigration is legal and aboveboard.

Final Steps

Once you’ve decided which sort of immigration officer you want to become, you will need to take a battery of basic tests including a written test, an oral examination, and a physical fitness test. If you pass all the tests and are chosen to become an immigration officer, you will be required to undergo up to half a year of Immigration and Customs Enforcement training and supplemental education necessary for your job. This may include firearms training, legal education or language training.

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