Immigration officer (border force officer)

What they do

The role of immigration officers is now performed by Border Force officers. They work at airports, ports and in offices and processing centres throughout Australia. Border Force officers examine travellers' passports on arrival in Australia, checking for forged documents. They also assess applications for working and student visas, permanent residency and claims for asylum. As part of the assessment process they may be required to conduct personal interviews with passengers or visa applicants, using an interpreter where necessary.

Working conditions

Border Force officers working in immigration typically work at immigration offices and processing centres or international airports around Australia. There may also be limited opportunities to work overseas in Australian embassies and consulates. They have a high level of contact with people from a range of cultural backgrounds, with varying levels of English language skills. The work can be stressful when dealing with difficult or complicated cases, and immigration officers must remain calm. Border Force officers working at airports and other points of entry to Australia may be required to work shifts, which can include nights, weekends and public holidays.

Tools and technologies

Border Force officers working in immigration use standard office equipment to research and process visa applications. They are required to keep detailed records detailing the reasons why an application was approved or denied, and so will have to be familiar with departmental record keeping and archiving practices. Immigration officers working at airports, monitoring the arrival of international visitors, may use surveillance equipment.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a Border Force officer within the Department of Home Affairs you must pass the Australian Border Force (ABF) recruitment processes.

Applicants must be Australian citizens, at least 18 years old and meet medical, fitness, aptitude and psychometric requirements for the role. Applicants also need to be able to attain and maintain an Australian Government security clearance and a Department of Home Affairs Employment Suitability Clearance.

You can also enter this profession through the Border Force Officer Recruit Traineeship. This traineeship takes 12 months to complete and comprises a mix of classroom based and operational training. The classroom training will take place at an ABF College campus. After successfully completing your work placement you will then become a Border Force Officer.

Contact the Department of Home Affairs or the Australian Border Force for more information.

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