Powers of Immigration Officers

Checks the eligibility of all individuals entering a country at sea- and airports, enforces immigration control in line with the law and, where necessary, employs legal powers to detain or remove illegal entrants.

Job description

Immigration officers check the eligibility of all individuals entering the country at sea- and airports. They are responsible for enforcing immigration control in line with the law and, where necessary, employ legal powers to detain or remove illegal entrants. Airports and ports are extremely busy environments with a constant stream of passengers passing through, making the work stressful at times.

The Power of Immigration Officers includes:

  • It clearly describes the power of immigration administrators, that is, to inquire, to action, to make an entrance
  • To make an entrance in any site
  • They have the power to make an entrance and investigate 
  • The power to investigate and seize the obtained proof
  • The act of Police and Criminal Evidence 1984, Order 2013
  • They have the authority to supervise any inspections
  • The power of prosecution 
  • The entrance for legal guidance 

The Immigration officers (IOs) have a list of legally written permission notices that implies that they have the right to interfere in anyone’s property and to investigate or check out for persons and proof and, for entrance, can imprison a person and can seize the obtained clues. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Order 2013, SI 2013/1542, has given more power to the officer specifically, and again increased their power in the ordinance of the Immigration Act 2014 (IA 2014) and the Immigration Act 2016 (IA 2016).

Work activities

  • Determining the length of stay permitted for all non-EU citizens at the port of entry.
  • Refusing entry to passengers found not to be eligible for entry.
  • Examining the passports of passengers upon their arrival.
  • Conducting interviews.
  • Record personal details and taking fingerprints.
  • Writing case reports.
  • Organising the removal of passengers who are found not to be eligible for entry into the Republic of Ireland/Northern Ireland.


‘Premises’ are any place, property and, in particular any:

  • Automobile, vessel, aircraft or hovercraft
  • Offshore installation
  • Renewable energy source facility, or
  • Any moveable structure and tent.

Work conditions

Travel: may be necessary in some positions.

Working hours: are unsociable and irregular; officers are required to work shifts at varying times of the day.

Location: many positions are based nearby to ports and airports, or in Dublin or Belfast.

Entry requirements

Although a degree is generally not necessary for entry, a qualification or degree in a subject such as languages or legal studies can be beneficial. In order to work for the UK Border Agency, it is necessary to have been resident in the UK continuously for five years.