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 try to find a trainee job. Relevant courses include:

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

Mature learners who are interested in studying a degree could study an access to higher education course specialising in social science with law. You should check the entry requirements with the college or university.

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 work your way into this role by starting in a role with less responsibility like an immigration assistant or immigration adviser.

You could apply for a place on a 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 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
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • be a British citizen or British subject with no restrictions on your stay in the UK
  • have lived in the UK for the last 5 years
  • pass a medical check
  • pass enhanced background checks
  • pass security checks

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be

  • interviewing people entering the country
  • arranging for people to go back to their point of departure
  • organising a place in a holding area (for people who are claiming asylum)

You may also be involved with:

  • surveillance work to gather information or monitor people
  • 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 progress to chief immigration officer or higher executive officer.

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

Extended Diploma in Public Services (QCF) (Ambulance, Police, Fire, Prison, Customs, Armed Forces, Public Services)

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

Public Services - Diploma In Public Services (Qcf)

  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Turnford

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