Immigration officers (or immigration enforcement officers) use their legal knowledge to decide whether visitors to the United Kingdom are authorised to enter the country. They also decide whether visitors have the legal right to stay. They work for the Home Office’s UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) (formerly UK Border Agency).
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- 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.
As an immigration enforcement officer apprentice your starting salary would be £21,500 a year rising to £26,966 a year with experience. There is extra allowances for working shifts and unsocial hours (London pay range – £27,001 to £31,051).
You will work various shifts, including those that begin early and end late, as well as those that cover nights. You will also be expected to work weekends and holidays on a rotating basis. Typically, you will work 41 – 43 hours a week.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice immigration enforcement officer include:
- Level 3 Public Service Operational Delivery Officer – Entry requirements for this level include 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.
On an immigration enforcement officer apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- 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 use a computer and the main software packages competently.
Immigration enforcement officers are employed by UK Visas and Immigration within the Civil Service, and are based at UK ports, airports and the Channel Tunnel.
Look for job vacancies at:
- Civil Service Job search – you may find vacancies on other websites, but all applications are via the Civil Service website.
After completing the training programme and your probationary period, you will be assigned full Immigration officer responsibilities.
You will need to keep your training up to date throughout your career. You may be able to seek specialised training as your career grows, depending on your job.
With experience, you could become a senior immigration officer or manager in the Civil Service.