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Port management

Immigration officer

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

Annual Salary

£21,500 to £36,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

41 to 43 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

Day to day tasks

You'll check visitors to the UK are allowed to enter and entitled to stay. You may:

  • watch people and check documents and visas in passport control areas
  • interview people to check they are entitled to stay
  • arrange for people to go back to the country they came from
  • organise places in holding centres, for example for people claiming asylum
  • monitor people and gather information through surveillance work
  • work on joint operations with police and Border Force officials
  • visit and interview people who are suspected of not having the right to remain in the UK
  • collect statistics
  • write reports

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.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

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 Level 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 course
For more information

You could start as a trainee immigration officer and do a public service operational delivery officer advanced apprenticeship with the Civil Service.

With qualifications and experience, you could move on to immigration officer roles.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information

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 available.

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

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

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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With experience, you could become a senior immigration officer or manager in the Civil Service.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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