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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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About U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

What is the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) mission?

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protects America from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety. To carry out that mission, ICE focuses on smart immigration enforcement, preventing terrorism and combating transnational criminal threats.

What should applicants know about ICE?

ICE is a law enforcement component of DHS. ICE was created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative and interior enforcement elements of the former U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. ICE has more than 20,000 employees in 400 offices in the U.S. and 46 foreign countries. The agency has an annual budget of approximately $6 billion and three operational directorates: Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA).

What is ERO?

The ERO directorate upholds U.S. Immigration Law at, within, and beyond our borders with more than 8,500 employees, including more than 6,100 deportation officers and more than 750 enforcement removal assistants who are assigned to 24 field offices in 50 states, 4 territories and more than 20 countries. ERO’s work is critical to the enforcement of immigration law against those who present a danger to our national security, are a threat to public safety, or who otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration system.

ERO operations target public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have otherwise violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges. ERO deportation officers assigned to INTERPOL also assist in targeting and apprehending foreign fugitives or Fugitive Alien Removal (FAR) cases who are wanted for crimes committed abroad and who are now at-large in the U.S.

ERO manages all aspects of the immigration enforcement process, including identification and arrest, domestic transportation, detention, bond management, and supervised release, including alternatives to detention. In addition, ERO removes aliens ordered removed from the U.S. to more than 170 countries around the world.

What is HSI?

HSI is the principal investigative component of DHS with more than 8,500 employees, including more than 6,500 special agents and 700 intelligence analysts who are assigned to more than 200 cities throughout the U.S. and more than 60 offices in more than 45 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad. HSI conducts transnational criminal investigations that protect the U.S. against threats to its national security and brings to justice those seeking to exploit U.S. customs and immigration laws worldwide.

HSI has broad legal authority to investigate all types of cross-border criminal activity. This includes investigations and intelligence efforts into a myriad of smuggling and cross-border criminal activity, to include: financial crimes, bulk cash smuggling, cybercrimes, exploitation of children and child sex tourism, weapons smuggling and export enforcement, trade crimes such as commercial fraud and intellectual property theft, human smuggling and trafficking, narcotics smuggling and trafficking, identity and benefit fraud, human rights violations, transnational gang activity, counterterrorism and visa security.

Through its investigative efforts, HSI works with foreign, federal, state and local law enforcement partners to protect the national security and public safety of the United States by disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations that engage in cross-border crime.

What is M&A?

The Management and Administration (M&A) directorate makes important contributions to the ICE mission by providing the vital infrastructure necessary for successful ICE operations. Management and Administration identifies and tracks the agency’s performance measurements and leads a dynamic human capital program that includes aggressive recruitment endeavors and commitment to equal employment opportunity. It coordinates ICE’s administrative and managerial functions to address the needs of the ICE mission, while helping to guide the dynamic growth and future of the agency.

Management and Administration directs and maintains ICE’s budget, expenditures, accounting and finance, procurement, facilities, property, and policy and privacy programs in full compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and rules. Management and Administration provides a solid integrated information technology infrastructure to ensure the men and women of ICE have the tools they need to succeed. Management and Administration establishes acquisition strategies, provides oversight of procurement activities and contracts and executes sound and cost-effective financial management policies, standards and systems. In addition, Management and Administration ensures collaboration with internal stakeholders to increase diversity, guarantees timely responses to Freedom of Information Act requests and supports the agency’s training needs.

What is the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor?

OPLA is the largest legal program in DHS with over 1,100 attorneys.  Pursuant to statute, OPLA serves as the exclusive representative of DHS in immigration removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, litigating all removal cases including those against criminal aliens, terrorists, and human rights abusers. OPLA also provides a full range of legal services to all ICE programs and offices. OPLA provides legal advice and prudential counsel to ICE personnel on their customs, criminal, and immigration law enforcement authorities, the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, ethics, legal liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and a range of administrative law issues, such as contract, fiscal, and employment law.  OPLA represents the agency before the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Board of Contract Appeals. OPLA attorneys provide essential support to the Department of Justice in the prosecution of ICE cases and in the defense of ICE’s authorities in federal court.

What is the difference between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP)?

ICE and CBP are both components of the Department of Homeland Security; CBP enforces customs and immigration law at and near the border and ICE enforces customs and immigration laws at the border as well as in the interior of the United States. CBP charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade. ICE is responsible for protecting America from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety.

About the ICE Hiring Surge

The White House Executive Order says ICE will be hiring 10,000 Immigration Officers. Is that true?

Yes, on January 25, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO): Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States. The EO mandates ICE to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers.  Furthermore, DHS Secretary Kelly issued an implementation memo which states, “To enforce the immigration laws effectively in the interior of the United States in accordance with the President's directives, additional ICE agents and officers are necessary. The Director of ICE shall, while ensuring consistency in training and standards, take all appropriate action to expeditiously hire 10,000 agents and officers, as well as additional operational and mission support and legal staff necessary to hire and support their activities. Human Capital leadership in CBP and ICE, in coordination with the Under Secretary for Management and the Chief Human Capital Officer, shall develop hiring plans that balance growth and interagency attrition by integrating workforce shaping and career paths for incumbents and new hires.” ICE is currently implementing a hiring plan. Those hired pursuant to the president’s direction under the executive order will focus on both civil and criminal immigration enforcement. Additional personnel will be hired to carry out support functions of the executive order.

When will ICE begin hiring the 10,000 immigration officers?

Hiring related to the EO is expected to commence in FY18. However ICE is currently hiring for a number of jobs including GS-1801 Deportation Officer and GS-1811 Criminal Investigators. To see a complete listing of job opportunities at ICE please visit USAJOBS

Where may I find and apply for ICE jobs?

ICE jobs are posted on USAJOBS, a hiring portal for the U.S. government. If you are a member of the general public, the first step in applying for a position at ICE is to create a USAJOBS profile at USAJOBS, and regularly search for ICE jobs that are listed as “open to the public (all sources).” If you are a current or former federal employee, you may search for ICE jobs at USAJOBS that are listed as “merit promotion eligible candidates” or “eligible for federal employees” in addition to those that are open to all sources.

ICE is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ a diverse workforce that is both highly productive and effective and is always actively recruiting and hiring persons with disabilities. We offer a variety of exciting jobs, competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. Read more about Disability Employment →

Where may I find help putting together a federal resume?

Visit USAJOBS, look in the “Help” section and search for “Federal Resume Training;” there are documents and videos available to help with creating a federal resume.

Is there a cost or fee to apply for a job at ICE?

No.

How do I know if I may apply to a job announcement?

All job announcements clearly define eligible candidates under the “Who May Apply” section. Generally, if an applicant is a United States citizen, he/she may apply for positions labeled “open to the public (all sources).” If an applicant is a member of the Armed Forces or a current or former federal employee, he/she may apply for positions labeled “merit promotion eligible candidate.”

Will there be any hiring events where applicants will be hired immediately?

Yes.  ICE is currently in the planning stage of multiple hiring events.  ICE will announce dates and locations as soon as they are available.

What are the job benefits ICE offers?

ICE offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package including: health, dental, vision, life, long-term care insurance, retirement plan, Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k)), flexible spending account, Employee Assistance Program, personal and sick leave days and paid federal holidays.  Other benefits may include: flexible work schedules, telework, tuition reimbursement, transportation subsidies, health and wellness programs and access to fitness centers.  ICE is committed to employee development and offers a variety of training and developmental opportunities. 

Are there any opportunities to meet current ICE law enforcement professionals and ask questions about their careers? Is there a one day academy or workshop for potential applicants?

There are many opportunities to meet with ICE recruiters nationwide. You will be able to find these events on ICE’s career page as well as follow information posted on ICE’s Twitter and LinkedIn page.

You may also find out about ICE careers and opportunities at ice.gov/careers.

Are people hired in this surge the first to be let go when the administration changes?

In the Federal Government, layoffs are called reduction in force (RIF) actions.  When an agency must reduce positions, the RIF regulations determine whether an employee keeps his or her present position, or whether the employee has a right to a different position. Additional information →

What Happens After I Apply for a Job With ICE?

What can I expect after I have applied for a job with ICE?

Once you submit your application, ICE will assess your experience and training, identify the best qualified applicants and refer those applications to the appropriate hiring managers for further consideration and interviews.  We will notify you via email the outcome after each of these steps has been completed.  In addition, your status will be updated on your USAJOBS account throughout the process.

Who may I contact with questions during the application process?

A point of contact is provided for each job announcement.

What happens after I get a tentative selection letter?

Following receipt of a tentative selection letter, you must complete pre-employment requirements.  These requirements vary by position. All positions require security vetting and a drug test.  Your potential position may also require a medical exam, fitness exam and oral board interview.  Security vetting takes an average of three months to complete, but the process can vary from two weeks to one year, depending on both your personal history and the level of security vetting required for the position.

Am I guaranteed a job if I receive a tentative selection letter?

No. A tentative selection letter remains tentative until all pre-employment requirements are met for the position.  Once you have cleared these requirements, a firm job offer will be made.

If hired, will ICE pay moving expenses?

Paying for a potential employee to move is at the discretion of the hiring office, therefore each  position listed on USAJOBS will indicate if moving expenses are offered.

If hired, are employees allowed to choose their duty station or location?

There may be some flexibility in duty location. If so, it will be specified in the job listing on USAJOBS. Newly hired ICE deportation officers and special agents may be sent to the southern border, after training is completed, depending on agency needs.

About Law Enforcement Officer Positions

What characteristics does ICE look for in a law enforcement officer applicant?

ICE is looking for individuals with integrity and courage. ICE is interested in hiring law enforcement personnel who aspire to the highest standards of performance, professionalism and leadership. Deportation officers and special agents must be in excellent physical condition, able to tolerate environmental stresses and have strong critical thinking skills. ICE employees should be committed to its mission to protect American from cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety.

If hired will I be reassigned without notice?

Mobility is a major factor in the special agent occupation. Applicants must be willing to accept employment at any location offered. Assignment at the first duty station will be at least three years for special agents; however, completion of the three years does not imply that a transfer is guaranteed. Additionally, special agents may be reassigned at any time in their career to new locations based on agency needs.

How dangerous is the work law enforcement officers will be doing?

ICE law enforcement officers should expect a certain level of risk when performing their duties; however, they are expertly trained and every precaution is taken by ICE when it comes to protecting its officers’ well-being.

Is there an age limit or minimum to apply for a law enforcement officer position?

Yes. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.  The day immediately preceding an individual’s 37th birthday will be the last day to be referred for selection consideration for criminal investigators.  The day immediately preceding an individual’s 40th birthday will be last day to be referred for selection consideration as a deportation officer. The age restriction may not apply if you are a preference-eligible veteran, currently serving or have previously served in a federal civilian law enforcement position covered by 5 U.S.C. & 8336(c) or 5 U.S.C. & 8412(d).

Do applicants for law enforcement positions have to pass a polygraph test during the application process or after they are hired?

No. At this time ICE is not administering a polygraph examination, however ICE is working towards a pre-employment polygraph program for law enforcement positions.

Do applicants have to take a drug test during the application process or after they are hired?

Yes. Executive Order 12564 requires all federal employees to refrain from the use of illegal drugs on and off duty. All ICE applicants who are tentatively selected must satisfactorily complete a drug test as a mandatory condition of employment. ICE schedules and pays for these drug tests. All ICE employees are subject to the random drug testing program throughout their career.

Does ICE require fluency in Spanish to apply?

No. Fluency is not required to apply; some candidates may undergo Spanish language training.

Does ICE require previous law enforcement officer experience to apply?

Not at the GS-5 level. Above the GS-5 level requires one year of specialized experience or appropriate education substitution. Please refer to each specific job announcement for qualification requirements.

How does overtime pay work at ICE?

Overtime pay for federal government employees is determined by special rules and regulations that are often particularly complex.  Some federal employees, who are not entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), still may be entitled to overtime pay under Title 5.  Some forms of government pay, such as Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) and Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO), are available under Title 5 but not the FLSA. 

Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) pay:  AUO is a form of premium pay that is paid on an annual basis to an employee in a position in which the hours of duty cannot be controlled administratively and which requires substantial amounts of irregular, unscheduled overtime work, with the employee generally being responsible for recognizing, without supervision, circumstances which require the employee to remain on duty. AUO is compensation for all irregular overtime hours (i.e., overtime hours that are not regularly scheduled) which vary between 10 and 25 percent of an employee’s basic rate of pay.  “Regularly scheduled” overtime hours continue to be compensated with Federal Employees Pay Act (FEPA) overtime (“45 Act/Title 5 overtime”).

Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP): LEAP is a type of premium pay that is paid to Federal law enforcement officers (LEOs) who are criminal investigators. Due to the nature of their work, criminal investigators are required to work, or be available to work, substantial amounts of unscheduled duty. Availability pay applies to unscheduled duty hours as well as the first two hours of regularly scheduled overtime on any day containing part of the criminal investigator’s basic 40-hour workweek.  The rate is fixed at 25% of the employee’s rate of basic pay, subject to aggregate premium pay limitations. Other hours of overtime continue to be paid under the provisions of Title 5/FEPA, but LEAP employees are exempt from the FLSA.

What are other sources of compensation for law enforcement officers?

Law enforcement officers are competitively rewarded for their time on the job. In addition to base pay, agents may be eligible for locality pay, overtime pay and more. They may also be eligible to premium pay for working on Sundays, holidays and night shifts. Officers may receive cash awards as recognition for their superior efforts (funding permitting).

What is the retirement age for ICE special agents and deportation officers?

New ICE law enforcement officers are covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and 5 U.S.C. § 8412(d). Employees covered by this retirement system that reach age 50 or over with at least 20 years of service as a law enforcement officer are eligible for law enforcement retirement. In addition, ICE law enforcement officers are eligible for law enforcement retirement at any age with at least 25 years of service as a law enforcement officer.

Finally, employees who reach age 57 with at least 20 years of service as law enforcement officers are subject to mandatory retirement under both retirement systems.

Additional information for preference-eligible veterans →

ERO Law Enforcement Officer Positions

What are the daily activities of an ERO deportation officer (GS-1801)?

As a deportation officer with the Enforcement and Removal Operations directorate of ICE, your work is critical to enforcing immigration law against those who present a danger to national security, and public safety and who violate the integrity of our immigration system. You will use smart, efficient strategies and tactics to manage all aspects of the immigration enforcement process, including the identification and arrest, transportation, detention, case management and removal of aliens. ERO deportation officers also conduct legal research to support decisions on removal cases and assist attorneys in representing the government in court actions. Deportation officers work with other federal law enforcement officials to identify, locate and arrest aliens and are responsible for ensuring the physical removal of aliens from the United States.

What are the training requirements for newly hired ERO deportation officers?

As a new deportation officer you will be required to attend and successfully complete both, a five-week ERO Spanish Language Training Program (DSP) and the 16-week ERO Basic Immigration Law Enforcement Training Program (BIETP) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) as well as successfully complete of the Physical Abilities Assessment (PAA) in order to continue in your career as a deportation officer.

What are the training requirements for newly hired detention and deportation officers?

The DDO serves as a senior expert-level Detention and Deportation Officer responsible for the leading, coordinating, or contributing to projects related to the planning and execution of assignments aimed at assessing and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of work methods and procedures used in immigration enforcement. You must have successfully completed Basic Immigration Law Enforcement Training in accordance with 8 CFR 287.1(g) and other applicable agency policy. This includes successful completion of the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Basic Immigration Enforcement Training Program (BIETP); ICE Detention & Removal Operations (DRO) Basic Immigration Law Enforcement Training Program (ICE_D); the legacy Immigration Officer Basic Training Course (IOBTC); the Border Patrol Academy; the combination of both the legacy Basic Immigration Detention Enforcement Officer Training Course and the ICE DRO Equivalency Training Program (ETP); the ICE Special Agent Training Program; the combination of FLETC Criminal Investigator Training Program and the DRO Equivalency Training Program for Special Agents (ETPSA) and for legacy U.S. Customs Special Agents, the ICE / Customs Special Agent Cross Training Program. Due to regulatory requirements, no other training will be accepted. (Note: Completion of training is subject to verification). Note: If you have previously completed one of the basic immigration law enforcement training courses as listed above, but have had a significant break of three years or more from a position that initially required this training, you will be required to attend and successfully complete a new ICE basic law enforcement training course as a condition of your employment. Failure to successfully complete the academy will result in your removal from this position.

Do ERO deportation officers work with other law enforcement agencies? How?

ERO deportation officers will have the opportunity to regularly work with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, DEA and U.S. Marshals Service, as well as state police and county sheriff’s departments. Deportation officers participate on fugitive operations teams that improve public safety, and serve as part of anti-gang units and task forces in ICE’s ongoing battle to identify and dismantle violent local gangs consisting of foreign nationals.

Is there any exam preparation required for ERO deportation officers?

No.  Deportation officers are not required to take a pre-employment exam.

Is there a pre-employment physical fitness test for ERO?

Yes, successful completion of the physical fitness test ensures that all new-hire ERO law enforcement officers are at a minimally acceptable level of physical fitness to meet the physical demands of mandatory training and the performance of job duties.

Does ERO require a panel interview as part of the hiring process?

Yes, after a tentative selection has been made the applicant will participate in an interview with ICE personnel who pose law enforcement scenario-based questions to the applicant.  No technical knowledge is necessary for the interview. The intent of this interview is to gauge critical thinking through these scenarios.

What is the career progression for law enforcement officers in ERO?

Deportation Officer positions have promotion potential to the GS-12 level. A career ladder promotion is contingent upon satisfactory performance and the satisfactory completion of all requirements and duties.  Deportation Officers have additional opportunities at the GS-13, GS-14, GS-15, and Senior Executive Service levels; however, promotions to these levels are addressed through a competitive hiring process.

HSI Law Enforcement Positions

What are the daily activities of an HSI special agent?

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) criminal investigators, also referred to as special agents, conduct criminal and civil investigations involving national security threats, terrorism, drug smuggling, child exploitation, human trafficking, illegal arms export, financial crimes, identity fraud, benefit fraud, commercial fraud and more.

Do HSI special agents work with other law enforcement agencies? How?

HSI special agents may have the opportunity to work regularly with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service,  as well as local police departments, county sheriff’s departments and the state police. Special agents could participate on special task forces or fugitive operations teams.

What are the daily activities of an HSI technical enforcement officer and is the position the same as a special agent?

As a technical enforcement officer, you will work with criminal investigators and other law enforcement officers on active criminal investigations and apply advanced investigative techniques to gather evidence and intelligence. You will have an extensive working knowledge in the use, instruction, installation, maintenance, troubleshooting and integration of the full range of electronic surveillance devices like telephone, video, audio, tracking, radio frequency (RF) technologies and associated surveillance systems. You will provide expertise in the planning and execution of the electronic surveillance phase of major investigations and enforcement operations. You will serve on high-risk special operations teams. You will make covert court-ordered entry onto the property of targets of criminal investigations to install equipment to collect evidence. You will also serve as a technical authority and provide training and guidance to journey level technical enforcement officers, HSI special agents and other law enforcement officers engaged in electronic surveillance and investigative work.  Although technical enforcement officers work closely with special agents, they do not perform the same duties.

What are the training requirements for newly hired HSI special agents?

New special agents attend the basic criminal investigator and special agent training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). The courses include the 12-week FLETC Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP) and the 15-week HSI Special Agent Training (HSISAT) follow-on basic.  The HSISAT program provides extensive training in agency-specific criminal and immigration law, surveillance and undercover operations, firearms training, court case development and physical fitness.

What are the training requirements for newly hired Technical Enforcement Officers?

Technical Enforcement Officers (TEO) are required to complete the 12 ½ week FLETC Uniformed Police Training Program (UPTP). TEOs and are encouraged to continually take advanced technical courses, throughout their career, in order to remain proficient and up to date on the utilization of current technologies and equipment.

Do all applicants for HSI special agent positions have to complete the occupational questionnaire and what is the minimal score necessary to pass?

Yes. If you meet the minimum qualifications requirements, your experience, education, and training will be rated using an online assessment (occupational questionnaire). Based on the responses, you will receive a score between 70 and 100. For those who meet the minimum score requirements, their resumes and supporting documentation will be reviewed to ensure they meet the basic qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications and minimum score requirements, your name will be referred to take the Special Agent Test Battery and writing sample assessment

Is there any exam prep for HSI special agents?

This manual will help you prepare for the Special Agent Test Battery. It will help familiarize you with the logical reasoning test, the arithmetic reasoning test and the writing skills test. You will also have the opportunity to review some sample questions. Explanations for correct answers are provided in the manual. The preparation manual for the ICE Special Agent Test Battery is available here (PDF | 1.2 MB).

What happens after I take the written assessment?

Applicants who meet the minimum score requirements will be invited to schedule and complete a computerized competency-based assessment battery, also known as the Special Agent Test Battery. The test is administered via the web at more than 500 testing centers. Applicants can schedule a time to take the Test Battery over a two-week period. The test measures applicants’ reasoning and writing skills, as well as his/her experience. A study guide for the Special Agent Test Battery is available.

In addition, applicants undergo a writing sample assessment, in which he/she provides a narrative report describing the details of a photograph. This assessment evaluates an applicant’s overall writing ability, organization, how they present ideas, grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary. Applicants who pass both the Special Agent Test Battery and the writing sample assessment and meet the minimum score requirements will be scheduled for a structured interview.

Does HSI require a structured interview?

Three senior-level criminal investigators administer the structured interview. The interview consists of situational questions that do not require technical knowledge. The structured interview assesses an applicant’s judgment and decision-making skills, emotional maturity, cooperativeness, sensitivity to the needs of others and conscientiousness. These qualities are essential to succeed as a criminal investigator. The structured interview is a pass/fail interview. Candidates must receive a "pass" in all areas to progress in the hiring process.

Are personal interviews included for HSI positions? Do they differ from ERO?

Yes. For HSI positions, two senior-level HSI management officials conduct the personal interview. The personal interview assesses a candidate’s individual background and employment history. It ensures that every candidate interviewed is presented with standardized information about the HSI criminal investigator position. The personal interview covers the following topics: HSI mission, criminal investigator duties, academy and training requirements and job locations/life changes.

In addition, every candidate must answer a series of essential functions questions. Candidates must be willing to carry out certain actions to be considered for the HSI criminal investigator position.

What are the physical requirements for HSI special agent positions?

Applicants for special agent positions must pass physical fitness tests.  HSI applicants must pass four physical fitness tests.  The first test will begin at the pre-employment phase, and the final test will be given at the end of the HSI Basic Training Program. 

What is the career progression for law enforcement officers in HSI?

For HSI, positions have promotion potential to the GS-13 level. A career ladder promotion is contingent upon satisfactory performance and the satisfactory completion of all required training. Such promotions are not automatic. Positions have additional opportunities at the GS-14, GS-15, and Senior Executive Service levels; however, promotions to these levels are addressed through a competitive hiring process.

About Other Positions at ICE

Is ICE hiring for other positions besides law enforcement?

ICE is also hiring Intelligence Officers, Intelligence Research Assistants, Intelligence Research Specialists, Attorneys, Mail and File Clerks and Legal Assistants, Management and Program Support Specialists, Auditors, Investigation Assistants and Research Specialists. Similarly, administrative, professional, and technical job applicants often have several steps in the application process. Make sure you review each USAJOBS posting to understand what is required at USAJOBS.gov

What are some examples of career paths at ICE for non-law enforcement personnel and what is the likelihood of advancement opportunities?

ICE has many career paths that are designed for career growth and advancement. These lines of progression are usually identified in the job announcement.  Advancement opportunity within a position is included in the ‘GS’ level rating.

Current Law Enforcement Officers

What documents are required for current border patrol agents who are applying for an ICE position?

The required documents for current border patrol agents applying for ICE positions are a resume and a SF-50 form that demonstrates eligibility for consideration, e.g., length of time you have been in your current/highest grade (examples of appropriate SF-50s include promotions, within-grade/range increases) and your current promotion potential.

Candidates Who Are Veterans

What documents are required for Veterans?

To support a claim of veterans' preference or VEOA eligibility, veterans are required to submit a DD-214 form. The DD-214 (Member 4) form shows length and dates of service and type of discharge. The dates of active duty determine whether one is entitled to veterans' preference. If a veteran has a service-connected disability, is receiving compensation for a service connected disability or is entitled to derived preference (preference awarded based on relationship to a veteran (i.e. wife, widow, husband, widower, or parent) then he/she must submit a completed SF-15 along with the DD-214. For additional veterans' preference information, visit USAJOBS “Help” section.

Is it possible to move into a law enforcement position in ICE if my service job was a support position?

Yes, if you meet all qualifications and successfully complete medical and physical requirements.

Are there age waivers for veterans who have recently separated from the military?

Age restrictions for ICE law enforcement positions do not apply if you are a preference-eligible veteran as defined in Title 5, U.S.C., section 2108, item (3). 

How can a veteran translate his/her military duties into civilian terms for an ICE application?

Individuals should accurately explain past experience that may relate to the position to which they are applying. 

What types of opportunities are there for veterans at ICE?

ICE supports employing veterans in the agency workforce and actively recruits qualified veterans for all positions within the agency. ICE values the commitment, work ethic, and experience that veterans bring to the job, as well as their specialized skills and talents. Veterans currently compose one third of the ICE workforce.

Candidates Who Are Students

Are there any special hiring programs for students or recent graduates?

The Pathways Program is a special hiring authority used to offer paid federal internship and employment opportunities for current students, recent graduates and those with an advanced degree. 

More information on the Pathways Program →

What is the Pathways Program?

The Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates Executive Order 13562 established the Internship Program and Recent Graduates Program, which, along with the Presidential Management Fellows Program, are collectively known as the Pathways Program.

More information on the Pathways Program →

Can recent graduates with no practical law enforcement experience apply for positions?

Yes. Recent graduates who within the past two years have completed a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate can apply.

Veterans who, due to military service obligations, are unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree have six years after degree completion to apply.

Will there be any other opportunities available for current students? Are they paid or unpaid? Are these opportunities seasonal or year-round?

ICE also has a Student Volunteer Program (SVP). This program is not part of the Pathways Program, but provides volunteer opportunities for students enrolled at least half-time in an accredited institution.  Opportunities under the SVP are unpaid positions and can last for a short time (semester or summer) to a year-long. These volunteer opportunities allow for the exploration of a federal career while gaining valuable professional experience.

Learn more about our Student Volunteer Program →

Is an undergraduate or bachelor’s degree required for all ICE career paths?

No. Please read each job listing carefully on USAJOBS for specific requirements.

Does ICE offer any student loan repayment as an employee benefit?

Yes, in certain instances ICE does offer student loan repayment as an employee benefit.