Immigration Officer • Job Description, Salary & Benefits

Immigration officers are employed by the UK Border Agency (UKBA), a government department governed by the UK Home Office.

Immigration officers are tasked with monitoring and controlling the entry of people through various entry points across UK borders, such as airports, the Channel Tunnel and seaports.

Activities include scrutinising passenger documentation, interviewing passengers, and gathering intelligence information for case records.

Immigration officers need to be aware of the latest legislation, rules and regulations governing immigration, and to liaise with other UK agencies and authorities, such as law enforcement, customs and revenue officials and intelligence agencies.

Salary & benefits

Junior or assistant immigration officers earn between £15,000 and £17,000 per annum.

Full on immigration officers earn around £25,000 and senior immigration officers can earn between £25,000 and £35,000.

Officers also receive additional pay for working on weekends, and officers successfully completing departmental examinations in various languages receive an allowance to do so.

Working hours

Working hours are shift-based and include day, night, weekend and holiday shifts, since the department operates around the clock. Immigrants don’t sleep when it gets dark, so why should you?!

Officers may be placed across several locations in the UK and may move offices once every few years on transfers and short-term postings.

All officers are bound by civil service rules, which restrict activities that compromise or conflict with their responsibilities.


Graduates can apply directly for immigration jobs, but there is no separate graduate scheme available. Another option is to apply through the Civil Service Fast Stream for graduates, but there is no guarantee that you will be posted in the immigration department.

Candidates need to fulfil statutory eligibility requirements pertaining to nationality, security clearances, background checks and criminal convictions.

Training & progression

Initial training is comprised of five weeks of formal training and four weeks of on-the-job operational training. Training covers all important aspects such as immigration law, professional conduct, interviewing and reporting.

Post training officers begin full-time work under senior supervision and periodic training is conducted throughout the job tenure. Career progression is based on individual performance and departmental policies.

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