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How do I Become an Immigration Agent?

Article Details
  • Written By: V. Saxena
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 25 June 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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An immigration agent, also known as an immigration enforcement agent, is a government employee tasked with enforcing national immigration laws. This primarily entails capturing and deporting illegal immigrants. Though the process required to become an immigration agent varies significantly by country, most countries require that an agent meet certain eligibilities, obtain an accredited education, and pass several stringent tests and exams.

In the United States (US), potential immigration agents must first obtain a bachelor’s degree. Desired candidates often have a degree in Criminal Justice or Homeland Security. To become an immigration agent, one must also be a US citizen under the age of 40 and have a valid driver’s license.

There are also certain qualities that an individual trying to become an immigration agent must have. A potential agent should have the ability to conduct research and analyze information, which is required for correctly applying the laws an immigration agent is charged with upholding. An agent must also know how to properly articulate himself or herself with people from different backgrounds.

Men and women who satisfy the aforementioned prerequisites and want to become an immigrant agent can begin their journey by searching for a local Special Agent in Charge (SAC) office. At an SAC office, prospective immigration agents can acquire application materials and begin proceeding through the hiring process. Another option is to search through the federal government’s online job database. Once the online application is completed, it is subsequently forwarded to the corresponding SAC office.

If the application is approved, the individual trying to become an immigration agent will have to pass a stringent background check, physical exam, and written test. These are designed to ensure that prospective immigration agents have the strength and mental acuity to perform the duties required of them. Individuals with a criminal history won’t necessarily be turned down, especially if they are upfront and honest about their past.

Getting hired is only the first step in the process to become an immigration agent. The next step is to undergo fourteen to eighteen weeks of specialized training in various government academies spread out across the US. This training period requires going to different locations, as each facility specializes in a specific subset of immigration law and enforcement.

Once training is complete, the individual will then be assigned to an office. Though anyone who goes through the process to become an immigration agent has the right to request a specific location, such as his or her hometown, there is no guarantee on assigned location. Many people who become immigration agents will need to relocate.

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