Border Force - Home Office Careers

Border Force is the part of the Home Office responsible for securing the UK border 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by enforcing immigration and customs regulations.

Around 10,000 people work in Border Force, with the majority working in frontline roles in airports and seaports across the UK and overseas. Some officers will work at only one location, while others are mobile, working across a number of ports or other locations in a region.

We check all passengers and freight arriving in the UK by air and sea and conduct intelligence-led searches for prohibited, counterfeit or restricted goods such as drugs, firearms, weapons, cash, tobacco and alcohol. 

We also support the wider Home Office agenda in high-profile areas such as counter terrorism, tackling organised crime, modern slavery and human trafficking. This is some of the most important and challenging work in Government and its impact can be felt in communities across the UK.

The nature of the work we do and the locations we work at means that officers are sometimes required to operate in difficult and pressurised environments. Where priorities change quickly, being able to be flexible and adapt is a key skill. 

2 Border Force Officers talking next to a vehicle

What you could be doing

As a Border Force Officer or Apprentice, you could be performing tasks including:

  • operating control points at airports and seaports that make decisions whether or not to admit passengers to the UK;
  • profiling people, goods and vehicles for border offences, conducting interviews and referring to other law enforcement partners as required;
  • detecting and investigating offences arising from the movement of prohibited and restricted goods;
  • supporting aviation, maritime and international rail operations; and
  • arresting people and searching premises or vehicles.

The benefits of working in Border Force

You will receive comprehensive operational training and support before you start the role. As well as classroom based training you will also receive Personal Safety Training so you can operate safely and confidently in difficult environments.  In your first weeks in ports you will receive one to one mentoring support from an experienced Border Force Officer until you are comfortable and have put into practice all you have learned in training.

As you progress and gain experience, there are opportunities to specialise in areas such as: forgery detection, safeguarding vulnerable people, mobile response, commodity search teams and many more.

We have a continuous learning culture in Border Force, and you will be encouraged to undertake training activities in line with your skills and career aspirations. There are lots of opportunities for career progression whether into management, corporate roles or specialised operational roles.

Our borders operate 24/7 and our officers do too. This means officers work a variety of rostered shifts which include nights and public holidays. Officers are compensated for working unsociable hours through receipt of additional allowances which vary depending on the level of flexibility and unsociable hours required at that location. The job adverts for each role will provide further details on what those payments are likely to be.

The working environment, the people you encounter, the skills you will learn and the importance of the work we do make this a unique and exciting role. The team working ethos means you will build a strong bond with colleagues, supporting each other and solving problems together. If you are curious and interested in people, enjoy working as part of a team and are excited by working in a busy operational environmental, this could be the job for you.