Shazia - Home Office Careers

I joined the Civil Service straight from university because I wanted to help make the changes that would benefit the UK and its citizens. I was initially in the Immigration Service, which later evolved into Border Force. I have now been here for 22 years.  

Most of my career has been frontline on the Primary Arrivals Control, so I am part a big team that helps the flow of passengers to enter the UK – checking passports and asking questions. Working on the frontline I been able to meet people from all over the world, from royalty to celebrities to families returning from their much-needed holidays.

I have also had a number of roles, including in the forgery team and working in the VIP suite. I am also a mentor to new recruits and a ‘buddy’ for those that have successfully passed probation, acting as a source of support and guidance should they need anything. I recently moved to a strategy role, where my work includes helping Border Force become an organisation that is both inclusive and reflective of the public that we serve.

My biggest achievement has been working with colleagues across the Home Office to help shape policy on people arriving in the country with outstanding NHS bills. By collating and sharing NHS data with frontline officers we were able to recover millions of pounds for the NHS. I have also appeared on the BBC’s ‘Maximum Security’ programme hosted by Dom Littlewood.

For me, the main benefit of being in Border Force has always been the positive impact that I could have on our society. For example, myself and many of my colleagues worked at the frontline during the COVID pandemic. This was a testing time but the fact that we were an intrinsic part of keeping our communities safe made us feel proud in our work.

I would definitely encourage anyone to join Border Force. There are so many different areas that you can get involved in, whether its frontline, detection or helping shape the mechanics of our organisation from a strategic point of view. There is something for everyone!