How to Become an Immigration Agent

How to Become an Immigration Agent

An immigration agent not only has the duty of tracking illegal immigrants, they are also responsible for the overall national security of the country. Those that choose to work with ICE, or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will have to undergo intense training and will be held to the utmost standards in performance and character.

Educational Requirements

Before a person can apply to become an ICE agent, they must be under 40 years of age and be a citizen of the United States (3). If these two criteria are met, a person must then ensure that they have:

  • A college degree
  • Experience in the military or law enforcement

If these two further requirements are met, the applicant will be considered for the job. However, experience can be further substituted if a person has a master’s degree in a related field. Upon approval, an applicant will have to undergo vigorous training that is 13 weeks long. During this training, a person will learn how to safely approach immigrants, how to assess unsafe environments and an officer may also be required to learn Spanish.

Work Environment

Working within this environment is very strenuous and also dangerous. When working, agents will be required to work more than 40 hours per week and may have to work near country borders to stop illegals from entering into the country. This job should be viewed in the same manner as a police officer with a very high level of stress and potential for injury. With longer than normal working hours, an agent will find that their job is extremely demanding. With this said those that join the ICE do so because they feel it is very emotionally rewarding. They are trusted with a good deal of responsibility and also fell they are working for a good cause.

Career Outlook

The salary and career outlook for an immigration agent is generally equivalent to that of a police officer. Estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics put federal agents as earning around $50,000 per year for those who have been with the force for a while. However, these agents are expected to work more than 40 hours per week and on an unscheduled basis. This means that working holidays or the weekend can become the norm. However, Law Enforcement Availability Pay can also be given which is sometimes equal to around 25 percent of the agent’s base salary to cover these overages in hours.

With tens of thousands of illegal immigrants being deported last year alone, an agent will find that they have a very full schedule. Those that want to work with the government and assist their country can do so by applying for job openings with ICE.


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If you would like to know more about joining the ICE, check out these source links.​