Job description: Immigration officers deal with the control of people entering the UK via its borders. Working in passport control, they are responsible for checking the right of entry to the UK of all individuals arriving at seaports, airports and via the Channel Tunnel. As well as examining documentation, they may gather intelligence, do case work and, where necessary, use legal powers to detain or remove illegal entrants to the UK.
Immigration officers work for the UK Border Agency (UKBA) , an executive agency of the Home Office , which aims to provide high-quality and non-discriminatory entry controls to the UK in accordance with:
- immigration law;
- service standards;
- the UK’s international obligations and the changing needs of the economy.
Typical work activities
The work of an immigration officer can be varied and the specific duties of each day depend on the particular passengers travelling through the ports of entry. Generally duties include:
- examining passports and recognising forged documentation – this requires excellent observational skills and an understanding of forgery techniques;
- conducting personal interviews with travellers – working through interpreters where necessary, and objectively evaluating the information presented;
- keeping up to date with changes in legislation and current affairs;
- applying immigration legislation, rules and policy;
- communicating with various agencies, including intelligence units, the police, benefits agencies, helping to organise surveillance;
- carrying out intelligence-based activities and using knowledge of national and international intelligence;
- undertaking, with police assistance, immigration visits to identify people with no authority to remain in the UK;
- deciding on the entry rights of individuals and, where applicable, refusing entry;
- deciding on whether individuals who have been refused entry may be placed in temporary accommodation in the UK, and making appropriate arrangements, including liaising with and working alongside housing authorities;
- making arrangements for the removal of those who have entered or attempted to enter the UK in breach of immigration law;
- writing and presenting case study reports and statistics.
Salary and conditions
- Assistant immigration officers start at £22,518 (London) or £20,386 (national).
- The starting salary for immigration officers is £27,947 (London) or £26,505 (national).
- In addition, jobs in London attract a location allowance. There is also a shift disturbance allowance for those working shifts. Other allowances may be payable depending on the nature and location of the job.
- A minimum of 36 hours a week is the usual number of working hours.
- Immigration officers’ work shifts include nights, weekends and public holidays, to provide 24-hour coverage at most ports.
- Job-sharing, part-time opportunities and career breaks are available, subject to staffing requirements and the agreement of line managers.
- Immigration officers are based at over 50 airports and seaports around the UK and at the Channel Tunnel.
- The majority of jobs are in London and the South East, but new staff must be prepared to work at any location and are allocated to ports according to need.
- Staffing levels vary greatly, from major ports with a large workforce to comparatively remote locations with just one or two officers.
- Civil Service regulations apply to ensure that officers do not engage in activities that might conflict with their professional duties.
- Officers must wear uniforms when carrying out official front-line operational duties.
- Many ports are extremely busy, which can make for a stressful working environment.
- Shift work can have lifestyle implications, but family-friendly policies apply where possible.
- Officers based at Dover must also be prepared to work in France and Belgium.
- On the whole, travel during the working day is rare, except for those involved in enforcement duties with people who have entered the UK illegally.
- Temporary overseas postings are also available to UK embassies and high commissions.
Salary data from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) website. Figures are intended as a guide only.
Employers and vacancy sources
Immigration officers work for the UK Border Agency (UKBA) , an executive agency of the Home Office. The UKBA is a global organisation with around 24,500 staff, including more than 9,000 warranted officers, operating in local communities, at UK borders and across about 130 countries worldwide. It is divided into four unified operational areas:
- enforcement and crime.
Immigration officers are based at airports and seaports around the UK and at the Channel Tunnel. Opportunities vary from major ports with a large workforce to comparatively remote locations with just one or two officers.
toResign.com has thousands of career documents including Resignation Letters, CV Examples, Cover Letters, Job Application Forms and more…