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INS Fact Sheet

April 22, 2002

Border Patrol Recruiting and Hiring

The Job:

A career with borders, but no boundaries. A job with the Border Patrol will put you on the front line of efforts to strengthen homeland security. The Border Patrol is the mobile, uniformed enforcement arm of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Border Patrol Agents are responsible for the prevention, detection and apprehension of those illegally entering the United States, as well as intercepting drug smugglers.

Qualifications: You must be a U.S. citizen; hold a valid driver’s license; be no older than 37 years old; have a year of work experience—demonstrating decisiveness under stress, analytical ability and good interpersonal skills—or a bachelor’s degree; and pass a written test and an oral interview. Qualified candidates must then pass a background investigation, a drug test and a medical exam, and complete five months of rigorous training (including Spanish language classes) at the Border Patrol Academy.

Salary and Benefits: Starting salaries are in the 30s, with ample opportunity for overtime and shift differential pay. All newly hired agents are assigned along the southwest border. If you are up to the challenge, there is no better job in the world. For More Information:

Call 1-800-238-1945 or check out the INS website at

How to Apply:

Call 1-888-300-5500 or apply on-line at Once at the website, click on “Hot Jobs” and then on the following page, click on “Border Patrol Agent Online Application” to register for the written test. Both are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Based on your responses to the questions asked, the Office of Personnel Management will determine if you meet the basic qualifications for the position. If you meet these qualifications, you will be scheduled for the written test.

The Situation:

INS plans to hire more than 2,000 new Border Patrol Agents nationwide by September 30, the end of FY 2002. In addition, the President's budget for FY 2003 calls for a substantial increase in Border Patrol Agents for next year, which will require INS to hire 2,000 new officers.

What INS is Doing:

INS has vigorously intensified its recruiting efforts and committing Border Patrol Agents in each sector to outreach and recruitment activities. New Border Patrol classified and display ads have been developed and placed in hundreds of newspapers, college placement manuals and a wide variety of other journals and magazines.

Last Modified 04/23/2002