Role as an immigration officer

In this case study I will be comparing my role as an immigration officer and a customs officer

Immigration officer role is to check and analyse people who are coming into and leaving the United Kingdom they are situated in every point of entry into the UK such as Dover, Gatwick and Heathrow. As an immigration officer you would check the landing cards of non-British and non-European passengers, and find out why they are visiting and how long they intend to stay. When a passenger meets the criteria for entry to the country you would check and endorse their passport and any work-related documents.

If you decided a person did not qualify to enter the country, your duties could include:

  • interviewing the passenger for more information
  • arranging for them to go back to their point of departure
  • Organising a place in a holding area (for example, when a person is claiming asylum).

You might also be involved with:

  • organising surveillance
  • carrying out intelligence-based activities
  • Visiting and interviewing people who are suspected of having no right to remain in the UK.

A customs officer is employed by Her Majesty’s revenue and customs (HMRC) collect a range of taxes and duties, control imported and exported goods, and prevent banned items from entering or leaving the country.

As a customs officer with HMRC’s border protection division, you would work in airports and ports to collect customs duty and prevent smuggling and illegal trade. You might:

  • search luggage, vehicles and travellers
  • check customs documents
  • question people who have been found with illegal items or excess goods
  • arrest and charge people
  • prepare reports and witness statements
  • Take on specialist roles such as dog handling or undercover and surveillance work.

When necessary, a customs officer as well as an immigration officer would attend court as a witness, and work closely with other agencies like the police and the Home Office.

The similarities between both roles are

  • Examine immigration applications, visas, and passports and interview persons to determine eligibility for admission, residence, and travel in the U.k.
  • Detain persons found to be in violation of customs or immigration laws and arrange for legal action, such as deportation.
  • Locate and seize contraband, undeclared merchandise, and vehicles, aircraft, or boats that contain such merchandise.
  • Interpret and explain laws and regulations to travellers, prospective immigrants, shippers, and manufacturers.
  • Inspect cargo, baggage, and personal articles entering or leaving U.K. for compliance with UK law and U.K customs regulations.
  • Record and report job-related activities, findings, transactions, violations, discrepancies, and decisions.
  • Institute civil and criminal prosecutions and cooperate with other law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of those in violation of immigration or customs laws.
  • Giving witness statements regarding decisions at immigration appeals or in court.
  • Determine duty and taxes to be paid on goods.
  • Collect samples of merchandise for examination, appraisal, or testing.

After researching job values for both roles I found that both the roles had same job values and used same procedures and technology in order for them to carry out their job successfully their knowledge and skills were similar to

Both role require the following

Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Learning Strategies Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Instructing Teaching others how to do something.

Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Knowledge Requirements For Immigration Officer And A Customs Officer

Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

I believe from my case study that both roles are very similar it’s like doing the same job for both roles which protecting UK citizens from harm and harmful products where as an immigration officer is protecting the people of UK being around illegal people who are not in the records if our country and the customs officer is protecting the united kingdom from illegal activity and illegal products and produce entering the country. I found that both roles required the same knowledge and skills for both roles. Both roles get similar training and awareness to new threats.

Peter c meilander in his argument where he stated that immigration should have broad discretion in formulating their policies on immigration meilander contends this to the extent of what philosophers have considered this issue and favoured having open border’s meilander seeks to develop a liberal defence he empathises the importance of political community and diversity among people as liberal values assuming communities are natural starting place for human life and such that stability of human societies rests in political communities. I believe personally that we do regulate such laws in today’s society because the world is not a safe place in order to keep peace in the country and to keep it a safe place that is why such policies are enforced leaving borders open freely would be dangerous and would bring harm into the country and security levels would drop so having immigration officers and custom officers in place we are keeping control of the country ins and outs. This keeps a record on how many people/items are entering and leaving the country and illegal immigrant’s illegal products are captured before causing any harm to the country and its people.


Debra L. DeLaet © 2002 Securing Community, Cambridge university press

Online web page // date accessed 10.01.2010

Online web page // accessed 11.01.2010

Online web page // accessed 11.01.2010


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