Frequently Asked Questions
What are the overall benefits of working at CBP?
Individuals can gain critical skills as a member of a high-energy, synergized team supporting CBP’s critical mission to protect America’s frontline.
What are the pay and benefits for law enforcement personnel?
CBP offers competitive pay and benefits. Click on the links below to learn more about the pay and benefits for each position.
Is there a minimum age or maximum age limit to work at CBP?
Generally, applicants for most federal jobs must be:
- at least 18 years old, or
- at least 16 years old and have graduated from high school or been awarded a certificate equivalent to graduating from high school; or have completed a formal vocational training program; or have received a statement from school authorities agreeing with their preference for employment rather than continuing their education; or be currently enrolled in a secondary school and either work only during school vacation periods or work part-time during the school year under a formal student employment program.
CBP law enforcement positions have a maximum entry age of 40. Exceptions are available for some veterans and those with prior law enforcement experience. Please review the job opportunity announcement (JOA) or contact CBP directly to find out specific information about the job of interest to you.
What is the application process for law enforcement opportunities?
All candidates must create a resume and submit an application through USAJOBS. A federal career resume is like a standard resume: both list skills, education, and experience. Visit USAJOBS for more information on how to build a federal resume.
How long does the hiring process last, from the point of selection to onboarding?
The time to hire varies depending on the type of position, the background investigation required for the position, and the time it takes for the selectee and investigator to complete all required investigation materials.
Once the hiring process is complete, where is training held and how long does it occur?
Training will vary depending on the position. Most JOAs include information regarding formal training.
Training for law enforcement positions occurs at either the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, or the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico.
The CBPO position, for example, requires formal training as follows:
- You will complete paid pre-academy orientation for approximately 30 days at your home port prior to attending FLETC for approximately 17-19 weeks.
- Candidates selected for duty locations where they are required to be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking Spanish will be required to either pass a Spanish language proficiency examination or attend a 6-week long Spanish immersion class at FLETC.
What are the basic requirements to be selected as a candidate and hired for a CBP job opportunity?
Each position has its own unique requirements. Applicants must:
- Meet all qualification requirements for the position as listed on the JOA
- Male candidates born after 1959 must be registered with the Selective Service System
- Be a U.S. citizen who has successfully resided in the U.S. for the last three years (Residency Requirement Exceptions)
- Successfully pass a background investigation
What are the specific steps that occur during CBP’s background investigation process?
- Applicants are required to fill out the Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (e-QIP). Once submitted, a background investigation will be completed to determine your suitability for Federal employment.
- The Background Investigation (BI) includes credit and criminal history checks, records checks to verify citizenship of family members, verification of date of birth, education, employment history and military history.
- Investigators will conduct interviews of individuals who know the candidate, and of any current or former spouse (divorced within the past 10 years).
- Residences will be confirmed, neighbors interviewed, and public records queried for information about bankruptcies, divorces and criminal or civil litigation.
- Additional interviews will be conducted, as needed, to resolve any inconsistencies or issues which have developed during the course of the investigation.
Would an individual with TS/SCI clearance be able to supplement that for the polygraph portion of the CBP application process?
CBP Law Enforcement positions require a polygraph. If you are a Veteran and have a current TS/SCI clearance, you may be eligible for a polygraph waiver. Applicants who are selected and meet this criterion will receive information to request a polygraph waiver in the Background Investigation package. CBP may accept the results of a prior federal polygraph exam in lieu of a CBP polygraph exam.
Are CBP employees required to learn a foreign language?
There is no requirement to be proficient in a language other than English, however, CBP certainly values employees who are language diverse. Some CBP law enforcement positions have requirements to learn the Spanish language as part of academy training. Candidates selected for these law enforcement positions are required to either pass a Spanish language proficiency examination or attend a six-week Spanish immersion class at FLETC.
What is the definition of “Direct Hire"?
Direct-Hire Authority (DHA) is granted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to federal agencies for filling vacancies when a critical hiring need or severe shortage of candidates exists. For more information, visit OPM - Direct Hire.
How would a professional SCUBA certified diver become a diver at CBP?
CBP does not currently have any positions with requirements for SCUBA certification. However, applicants who have an interest in protecting our country’s borders by sea may want to explore CBP’s Marine Interdiction Agent position.
Does CBP require its candidates to surrender dual citizenship to be hired? If so, does this policy apply to interns?
No. Dual citizenship is a non-issue from a suitability standpoint (provided that the candidate is a citizen of the United States). If a security clearance is required, under the National Security Adjudicative Guidelines, dual citizenship is not an automatic disqualifier, but it must be examined under Guideline C “Foreign Preference.”
Yes, this policy applies to interns.
Interested individuals may also access information at USAJOBS and/or the CBP Careers website, to explore positions associated with Air and Marine Operations (AMO), Office of Field Operations (OFO), United States Border Patrol (USBP) and Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
What Hiring Authorities does CBP utilize?
CBP employs a wide variety of hiring authorities including:
Where can potential applicants find information regarding webinars hosted by CBP?
CBP National Recruitment hosts regularly scheduled webinars for academic, veteran, and diverse communities. A calendar of events is available at CBP.gov.
What are the current Law Enforcement Career Opportunities?
Visit our Apply Now page for the most current announcements.