Immigration Officer

Keep illegal immigrants from entering the country.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$39,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Immigration Officers do?

The main priority of an Immigration Officer is to ensure that people who enter or leave the country do so legally. As an Immigration Officer, you may work in an airport or train station, examining large numbers of people at once, or you may work in an office, conducting more in-depth research on a much smaller number of people.

Much of your job as an Immigration Officer involves inspecting paperwork to search for fraud and forgeries. You look over passports, birth certificates, adoption certificates, marriage certificates, and more.

You may interview people, asking them why they’re entering or exiting the country, and what they plan to do on their travels. At times, you may be forced to deny entry, and even detain people in temporary shelters while you contact your Supervisors to determine what to do next.

If you’re working as an Immigration Officer who performs long-term investigations, you may meet people who are detained at airports or other points of entry. You interview them and determine why they want to enter the country. You may also talk with their friends and family members. At times, you may have to make the difficult decision of sending people back home.

In this line of work, you meet people from nearly every economic background, from nearly all countries. You learn about why people travel, and about their hopes and dreams for their lives. You may burst with pride for your country because of the inspirational stories you hear. You may also be tempted to travel yourself.


Should I be an Immigration Officer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • How to become an Immigration Officer

    Immigration Officers often have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:fpl9aa&chl=no+college+%2821%25%29|certificate+%2828%25%29|associate%27s+%288%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2842%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,21,42
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