Immigration officer

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

Average salary (a year)

£21,500 Starter


£36,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become an immigration officer

You can get into this job through:

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


You could do a college course which would teach you some of the skills needed for the role, and then apply for a trainee job. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Public Services
  • Level 3 Diploma in Public Services

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information


It may be possible to start as an assistant immigration officer or immigration adviser and work your way up.

You could apply for a place on an officer training programme if you have the right experience and qualifications.

Direct application

You can apply directly for immigration officer jobs with the Civil Service. The qualifications 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

More information

Further information

You can find more details about working as an immigration officer from Civil Service Careers and UK Visas and Immigration.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • excellent written communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • interviewing people entering the country
  • arranging for people to go back to the country they came from
  • organising places in holding centres, for example for people claiming asylum
  • monitoring people and gathering information through surveillance work
  • working on joint operations with police and Border Force officials
  • visiting and interviewing people who are suspected of not having the right to remain in the UK

Working environment

You could work at an airport building, at a border entry point or at a port.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you'll travel often.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a chief immigration officer or higher executive officer in the Civil Service.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an immigration officer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Public Services - Diploma In Public Services (Qcf)

  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Turnford

Subsidiary Diploma in Public Services (QCF) (public services)

  • Provider: Barking & Dagenham College
  • Start date: 04 September 2019
  • Location: Romford

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No