What Do Immigration Officers Do?
Immigration officers are one line of defense against movement of illegal immigrants into a country. They are given the enormous responsibility of controlling who is allowed into a country. Think of them as a wall, denying entry to people who don’t meet certain criteria. So what exactly do they do?
When someone enters a foreign country, an immigration officer is probably the first point of contact they’ll have. The immigration officer checks their passport to determine its authenticity. He’ll then ask a chain of questions that have all been prearranged for the purpose of collecting information on a visitor entering a country. Visitors will be asked to divulge information pertaining to the intent of their stay, whether it is for business or pleasure, and how long they intend to stay.
If the visitor’s answers satisfy the immigration officer, he’ll issue a visa to that visitor. The visa states how long a visitor is permitted to legally stay in a country and if the visitor is allowed to work and receive a salary during that time. The immigration officer will also advise visitors on the immigration laws governing a country, what they can expect if they break those laws, immigration procedures relating to permanent citizenship requirements, and the most common reasons for deportation or detention of immigrants. If, however, concerns arise about a person’s identity or objective during questioning or while looking through his identification papers, an immigration officer may detain the individual pending further inquiry. Upon further investigation, if it so happens that the person represents a national security risk, then he’ll be denied entry and sent back to his country of origin. If this is the case, the immigration officer will also be responsible for organizing the visitor’s transport.
The job of an immigration officer does not end at a point of entry. No, it goes much further than that. They are equally responsible for investigating persons who are in breach of immigration laws. For instance, they’ll investigate visitors who have remained in a country longer than their visa permits. If an investigation finds that a person is breaking an immigration law, the immigration officer will contact officials from their country and arrange to have the individual deported back. During the process of deportation, an immigration officer will supervise the transition and will ensure that the deportee has a means of transport back to his country. Sometimes, however, the deportation of an individual leads to a trial. When this happens, an immigration officer may be asked to testify on behalf of the immigration department or bureau. Alternatively, if an immigrant files an appeal after being denied entry into a country, an immigration officer may need to testify on the behalf of the immigrant.
For the hard work, immigration officers do they are compensated with an average annual salary of $52,739. Pay increases as workers gain more experience but are drastically reduced when a worker gains 20 plus years of experience. Workers enjoy a variety of benefits including 10 days of paid holidays and 13 days of a sick leave each year. Employment growth is set to increase moderately in the next 7 years.