US Border Patrol Recruiter (2023)

Thank you for your interest in a federal law enforcement position with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). We are currently seeking qualified applicants who are willing to enter into a challenging and rewarding career securing our nation’s borders as a Border Patrol Agent (BPA). Please read this email in its entirety and if there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at

We are currently hiring for under two Grade levels, GL-07 & GL-09. GL-09 Grade applies to applicants who are current or were previous police officers, Sheriff Deputies, State Police, Federal Police, and Military Police (MP). The specialized work experience must show that you have the ability to:

•Enforce local, state, and/or federal laws and regulations in a law enforcement capacity and otherwise have the authority or ability to do the following:

•Plan and conduct investigations,

•Plan and make arrests,

•Serve court orders (warrants),

•Use firearms,

•And/Or deal with people in a persuasive, tactful, and resourceful manner.

Everyone else will qualify for the GL-07, which upon graduation you will receive the peace officer status and six months after graduation you will receive the GL-09 pay grade. Every year on your anniversary you will receive a grade step increase. By your fourth year anniversary, you will be a GL-12, making over $100,000 with Overtime, Holiday Pay, night differential and Sunday Pay. The hiring process which normally takes from 6 to 8 months from the time you apply until you go the Border Patrol Academy is now taking 12 to 16 months to complete the process due to restrictions and delays because of COVID-19.

Currently, applicants that successfully complete the Border Patrol Academy will receive a $5,000 recruitment incentive. Additionally, new agents accepting one of the following locations: Sierra Blanca, TX, Presidio, TX, Sanderson, TX, Comstock, TX, Rocksprings, TX, Freer, TX, Hebbronville, TX, Lordsburg, NM, Why, AZ (Ajo Station) will be eligible for an additional $5,000 recruitment incentive (for a total of $10,000).

Minimum Qualifications to Apply for GL-07 or GL-09: (Must have or be)

- U.S. Citizen

- Have a valid Driver’s License

- Enter on Duty (EOD) prior to 40th birthday (if veteran’s preference eligible-no age limit)

- 1 year of full time general work experience or a 4 year college degree (or a combination of both, every full year of college = 3 months’ work experience, part-time work is ok but must equal 1820 hours total)

- No felony or domestic violence convictions

-No tattoos/branding of head, face, neck and/or hands (If accepting the position of Border Patrol Agent, tattoos/branding in head, face, neck and/or hands must be cosmetically removed prior to arrival of the Border Patrol Academy) (One ring tattoo is on each hand is now allowed, for marital reasons)

- Must have resided in the U.S. for the last 3yrs

- Good credit history

- minimum education requirements is a High School Diploma or GED

Drug Use:

-No marijuana use, CBD use, anabolic steroid use, or prescription drug misuse in the past 2 yrs. (If used recently, must sit out the 2 years to get clean. It will show in the Drug Screening Test)

-No use of Schedule I-V drugs in past 3 years. Ex. Cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, etc. (If used recently, must sit out the 3 years to get clean. It will show in the Drug Screening Test)

Must Pass Following: (The Pre-employment process)

-Pass the Border Patrol Entrance Exam (Entrance Exam waived for applicants who qualify as GL-9, applicants who are current or previous police officer, sheriff deputy, State Police, or Military Police)

-Pass a Structured Interview

-Pass a Medical Exam

-Pass a Fitness Test 1 (PFT-1) For PFT-1, military waivers are available for transitioning service members who submit the DD 2807-1 and DD 2808 and are successfully cleared by medical staff.

-Pass a Polygraph Test You may eligible for a polygraph waiver if the applicant is Transitioning Military Service Member who as current Top Secret-Sensitive Compartmental Investigation.

-Pass a Background check Could be ongoing even when called to the Academy, but background check will be completed prior to graduation.

-Pass a Drug Screening



Application Hiring Process: USBP Hiring Process Video: “Your Journey To Becoming A Border Patrol Agent”

1. Application: The application is completed through USA and includes questions on eligibility. Look for the VRA option if military preference (GL-07 or GL-09 if applicable).

A resume is uploaded along with College transcripts (if applicable).

2. Qualification: Resumes are reviewed to make sure that candidates meet the minimum education (High School or GED) and work experience qualifications.

3. Entrance Exam: The entrance exam consists of logical reasoning and more. Test is a proxy for academy and job success. There is no language or math involved in the test and consists of 40 questions. (Entrance Exam waived for applicants who qualify as GL-9, applicants who are current or previous police officer, sheriff deputy, State Police, Federal Police or Military Police) (Study Guide available at Barnes & Noble ($24 hard copy) and /or at Amazon as an eBook ($9))

•Entrance Exam:

4. Medical Exam and Qualifications: The medical exam includes a medical history review, physician exam, vision, and hearing test. Then information will be reviewed to determine medical qualification. This is an OPM requirement. An EKG, Vision Screening, Hearing Screening, and a Physical Exam will be conducted.

5. Physical Fitness Test-1 (PFT-1): The PFT-1 measures the likelihood of the applicant’s ability to perform job duties and training. PFT-1 consists of:

•Push-ups 20 in 60 seconds

•Sit-ups 25 in 60 seconds

•Step test 120 steps per minute for 5 minutes (on a 14 inch stepper)

(Your Fitness Test card received by the military is enough to waive this step in the hiring process)

6. Initiate e-QIP Record: The applicant begins their background investigation by submitting the SF-86, which is an extensive electronic questionnaire about the applicant’s background, via the OPM e-QIP website. This online form is what is used to initiate your background investigation (BI). You must complete all fields and attach all forms within the timeframe listed in your Tentative Selection Letter—Part 2 email. Take your time and proofread your e-QIP! Your Background Investigation cannot begin until your e-QIP record is accurately completed. One seemingly minor error on the e-QIP can significantly extend your pre-employment process.

•E-QIP Deep Dive Video

7. Structured Interview: The structured interview consists of a board of current personnel and measures competencies that are critical for successful job performance. You will meet with a three Border Patrol Agent panel for your interview. The interview consists of situational questions that do not require technical knowledge. Your responses will be rated based on specific competencies: Judgment/Decision Making, Emotional Maturity, Interpersonal Skills, and Cooperativeness/Sensitivity to the Needs of Others. Your passing results are good for 3 years.

8. Polygraph Exam: The polygraph exam is required by the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010. A series of questions relating to national security and the SF-86 responses will be administered. You will be given a standardized polygraph exam that will include questions about your suitability for employment with CBP and National Security concerns. (Polygraph exam may be waived for applicants who are active duty and hold an active TS-SCI clearance)

9. Provisional Clearance (Background Investigation): Applicants may enter on duty before a full suitability determination is rendered. They must elect this option and must be granted a positive interim decision on their suitability. *Applicants who enter on duty with an interim suitability determination may receive their full suitability after interim on duty. The job offer is contingent upon suitability determination. An investigator will interview you and check your references. An adjudicator will verify the accuracy of your application and e-QIP, review your investigator’s notes and polygraph results, and make a final determination about your suitability. This pre-employment process is lengthy due to rigorous screening procedures. Screening can take up to 10 months or longer from the date your completed background investigation forms are sent from Minneapolis Hiring Center (MHC) to the Office of Internal Affairs.

10. Drug Screening Test: Applicants complete a drug screening based on position duties to support suitability for the position. Conducted randomly at any point in the pre-employment process.

11. Job Offer & EOD Date: Final offer with Appointment to respective station and Sector, followed by 6 months of training at the Border Patrol Academy at Artesia, NM.

Validity Timeframes of Exams: (with a passing score)

Entrance Exam: Test score is valid until the exam changes. Applicant must wait 6 months to reapply if a failing score is received.

Structured Interview: If passed, results are valid for 3 years. Applicant must wait 6 months to reapply if interview is failed.

Fitness Test: If passed, results are valid for 1 year. Fail results, candidate can be afforded second opportunity in six weeks.

Polygraph results: if passed or failed CBP polygraph results are kept in record for two years. Must wait the two years to reapply from the actual date when notice of failure letter received from the Hiring Center.

MILITARY AND/OR VETERANS: If you are currently residing on a base in the U.S., because of the time frame it is taking, you can start the hiring process now and by the time you will be ETSing, the process will be complete and hopefully it would be a smooth transition from Active Duty to the Border Patrol Academy

If you are currently stationed overseas, then you will only be able to take the Border Patrol Entrance Exam at a designated area through a specific contractor near your base, the rest of the hiring process will take place once you return to the United States. The hiring process is valid for only 6 months, so if this time expires while you are overseas, when you reapply, your passing score of the Border Patrol Entrance Exam is valid indefinitely, so you would not need to take the written test again, you would go to the next phase.

Do you qualify for the Veteran Recruitment Appointment (VRA) on You are VRA eligible if you:

Separated under honorable conditions (honorable or general discharge)

AND ONE of the Following:

•A recently separated veteran (within the last 3 years); need DD-214

•A disabled veteran;

•In receipt of a campaign badge for service during a war or campaign or expedition; OR

•In receipt of an Armed Forces Service Medal (Examples of Qualifying Medals may include: Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal

•The maximum entry age of 40 is waived for veterans that are VRA eligible

If you are currently Active you will need a “Statement of Service” Letter in lieu of the DD-214 when you submit an application prior to completing your military active duty. The Statement of Service sample letter is provided as one of many attachments above.

CBP streamlines the hiring process for eligible veterans under this Job Opportunity Announcement.

Since you are Military there are some additional information and incentives to consider:

1- You would be allowed to "Buy back your Time" from the military if it was active service terminated under Honorable Conditions. What that means is that you would pay back to the military what you have contributed in your pension through allotments with payments that you are comfortable with, and apply the years of service you did to Border Patrol. For example, if you did 10 years in the Army, and you earned $20,000 to you pension, you would pay the Army back those $20,000 so that you could apply those 10 years to Border Patrol time. You would still need to do the 20 years with the Border Patrol, but with the 10 years that bought back, after 20 years when you are ready to retire you would actually be retiring with 30 years of Border Patrol service. To buy back your active military service time, and to receive additional compensation for on-the-job training program, log onto for more information. The military buy-back rules vary based on the year the Veteran became employed by the Federal Government. Detailed information regarding creditable military service for retirement purposes ca be located within the Federal Employees Retirement System Transfer Handbook which is located on the OPM’s website. For further information, visit Or instead of buying back your military time, you can rollover your pension (TSP) from the military to the Border Patrol. The Federal Service pays 2.5% more than the military in retirement.

2- Should you choose the option to stay in the Reserves after Active Duty, the Border Patrol Service would honor the monthly and yearly training you would normally do as a Reservist, and you would continue to earn a pension from both the Military and the U.S. Border Patrol. CBP employees whose appointment is not limited to one year are entitled to time off from their Federal position, at full pay, to perform certain types of active or inactive duty in the Reserves or National Guard. 15 days of military leave per year are allotted for completion of reserve obligations.

3- While at the Border Patrol Academy (6 months), which is equivalent to 2 years of college, you could apply your G.I. Bill and receive additional monies from the Military.

4- Your "seniority" that you did with the Military will rollover to the Border Patrol, and you have the option to discuss your choice of duty locations not available to regular applicants. Your military duty time is counted as covered service for annual leave accrual purposes. Annual leave is vacation time.

5- Disable Veterans Leave (DVL): (104 hrs of DVL for the first year only).

US Border Patrol Academy

Operations Department: The Operations Department delivers training that familiarizes Border Patrol Agent Trainees with current laws, policies, and enforcement practices. While at the academy trainees receive instruction regarding Immigration and Nationality laws as well as the Applied Authority courses that are taught by CBP Attorneys. The Operations Department also provides training on the tasks agents perform in the field including traffic check, fraudulent documents, alien processing, freight train check, linewatch, and signcutting. Many of the Operations courses include practical labs that allow students to experience hands-on training and make the curriculum come alive. For example, they have an opportunity to climb on freight train cars, learn how to follow and track footprints, and use interactive videos with live dispatchers to learn how to use a radio.

In accordance with the National Border Patrol Strategy objective of apprehending terrorists and terrorist weapons, the Operations Department delivers training on Anti-Terrorism. This training provides students with an understanding of terrorist organizations, weapons, and tactics and allows for hands-on interaction with inert bomb-making material, devices, and triggers. Trainees are taught to use Personal Radiation Detectors (PRD) and have an opportunity to practice with practical exercises.

Prior to completing the Basic academy, each class of trainees participates in eight hours of practical exercises. Role players are used in eight realistic scenarios that encompass and reinforce topics such as immigrants, non-immigrants, illegal aliens, narcotics, smuggling, and felony vehicle stops. Students utilize the training they receive throughout their academy experience to successfully navigate through each scenario. Instructors participate as evaluators and give critical feedback on the trainees' performance. The practical exercises bridge an important transition from training to performance in the field, by allowing trainees to experience realistic conditions prior to graduation.

Spanish Department: The Spanish Department's mission is to teach Border Patrol Agent Trainees to communicate effectively with individuals they will encounter in the field, most of whom speak primarily Spanish. This is a critical element as it has a direct impact on an agent's ability to perform their job in a safe, efficient manner.

The Task Based Language Teaching (TBLT) Program developed and taught at the Border Patrol Academy enables agents to efficiently use the Spanish language while performing critical Border Patrol specific tasks. Upon arrival at the Border Patrol Academy, trainees are tested on their proficiency of the Spanish language.

TBLT Spanish Language Training prepares trainees for field operations by using a variety of technologies and second language acquisition methodologies. Through the extensive use of Spanish speaking role-players and Border Patrol Task based practical exercises, trainees experience the same "real life" scenarios they will encounter in the field. Interactive language software is also used to allow trainees to practice during class and after hours. The trainees also receive extensive training using the E3 Alien Processing System during processing and interview scenarios.

The Border Patrol specific tasks taught during the program include high-risk vehicle stop, sensor response, first-aid, risk vehicle stop, common carrier inspection, checkpoint inspection, interview, and processing. The TBLT methodology provides trainees with an exciting, creative, and challenging course that will enable them to remain safe and effective in the field.

Physical Techniques (PT) Department: The mission of the Academy's Physical Techniques Department is to physically and mentally condition Border Patrol Agent Trainees for the rigorous duties demanded of an agent. The program blends physical conditioning and dynamic training together in order to emphasize officer survival and safety. The Standardized Physical Conditioning Program (SPCP) incorporates structured, progressive, and innovative concepts and procedures. It is designed to maximize the trainee's physical and cardiovascular development within the 119-day program. The elements of the SPCP, include strength training, confidence course circuits, mobility circuits, muscular endurance training, as well as a wide range of structured running activities. The program introduces and educates the trainees to a broad range of sound and diversified physical conditioning principles. The training concepts and techniques taught by the Physical Techniques Department instill confidence and the mind-set to overcome adversity.

The program is an intensive course due to the physically demanding nature of the Border Patrol Agent's job. This dictates that the Academy engages in a fast-paced physical conditioning program. Officer safety and survival are continually stressed throughout the curriculum. Instruction in Arrest Techniques, Defensive Tactics, Collapsible Straight Baton, Oleoresin Capsicum Spray, Ground Defense, and Edged Weapons instills confidence and prepares the trainee for the dangers of the job. Practical exercises incorporating all phases of the training help the trainee to make quick and competent decisions in regards to Use of Force encounters.

Academy instructors are seasoned patrol agents that bring field experience into the training environment. Their expertise in the various concepts taught in the Physical Techniques curriculum, allow them to guide the trainee's decisions and learning in order to maximize their ability to cope in a high stress situation. In all phases of the training the instructors lead by example, and continually strive to demonstrate the esprit de corps exemplified by the Border Patrol.

Academy PT Requirements:

· 1.5 mile run in less than 13 minutes

· 220 yard sprint in 46 seconds or less

· C-Course in 2:30 or less

Firearms Training Department:

The instruction is designed to develop students who have had little to no previous shooting

experience into agents that can face the increasingly lethal criminal element encountered long

our borders.

The Basic Firearms Training Program is seventy-three hours in length. The curriculum includes

handgun, shotgun, M4A1 carbine and both individual and multiple-officer tactics. After

developing basic skills in each weapon, the training becomes dynamic and interactive. Team

movement and immediate action drills provide sound tactics when confronting threats. Force-on-

force scenarios also aid in inducing stress and preparing students for similar encounters in the

field. Deadly force judgment training is also covered comprehensively. Besides receiving

instruction on the CBP Use of Force Policy, students must utilize sound judgment during deadly

force interactive scenarios with a one hundred percent score.

Border Patrol agents work in a unique environment where they must often be self-reliant and

able to endure hardship while protecting themselves and our nation from deadly threats. Agents

react quickly and correctly in all situations. The Firearms Training Department is committed to

preparing Border Patrol Agent Trainees for this duty.

Driver Training Department:

The Driver Training Division provides trainees with the knowledge and skills needed to safely

and effectively operate patrol vehicles during a variety of enforcement activities. During the 60

hour program, 17 hours are conducted in a classroom lecture format, while the remaining 43

hours are conducted on driving ranges. The three main skill areas are: Emergency Drive, Van/

Utility Vehicle Operations, and Skid Control.

Upon successful completion of the three main skill areas, trainees receive additional training in

the areas of Offensive Driving Techniques, 4x4 Operations, Vehicle Stops, Pursuit Drive, SUV

Evasive, Van Evasive, Night Pursuits, and Night 4x4 Operations.

The Offensive Driving Techniques training allows the trainee to perform a series of daytime and

nighttime Precision Immobilization Techniques (PIT) maneuvers, PIT and Pins, and Boxing in


The 4x4 course teaches the fundamentals of safely operating a four-wheel drive vehicle. The

course focuses on the techniques of operating a 4WD vehicle over different terrain, obstacles,

and road conditions.

The SUV Evasive Course represents the Border Patrol working environment. This course

incorporates numerous road surface transitions; meaning, traversing from asphalt to gravel to

dirt, etc., as well as diminishing lanes, decreasing radius turns, and slalom exercises.

The Vehicle Stop curriculum consists of both classroom lecture and laboratory exercises.

Trainees are provided with a basic foundation of tactics and techniques to perform both a Risk

and High-Risk Vehicle Stop. Vehicle Stop scenarios tax the trainee to utilize all of the skills and

knowledge learned while at the Academy to successfully initiate and complete a safe and

effective vehicle stop.

During Pursuit Training, trainees are instructed, through both lecture and exercises, on how to

engage and properly conduct a vehicular pursuit. Trainees are taught proper radio

communication, vehicle spacing, and other pursuit issues. The day and night vehicle pursuit

exercises enable the trainees to engage in a simulated pursuit. Once the simulated pursuit

culminates, the trainee must conduct a High Risk Vehicle Stop. This best represents a real

world environment where an agent must maintain self-control and a professional demeanor.


(Annual cost of living adjustments COLA)

DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package: uniform allowance, health, dental, vision, thrift savings plan 401(k), Life and long-term insurance; retirement plan.

Salary Incentives:

BPAPRA - (Overtime 25%: 10 hr. shift, 12.5%: 9 hr. shift): You Elect which

Night Differential - 10% of base pay (pay from 6:00p.m.—6:00 a.m.)

Sunday Pay - 25% of base pay

Federal Holiday Pay - Double Pay for the Day (10 Federal holidays per year)


Eligible with 20 years of service at age 50 OR at any age with 25 years of service. Employees with prior qualifying federal service may “buy-back” their federal service time. Employee still needs to complete 20 - 25 years of active duty service with CBP.

•15 days of military leave per year are allotted for completion of reserve status obligation.


Annual Leave is accumulated each pay period based upon years in government service:

•1-3 years – (4) four hours

•3-15 years – (6) six hours

•15 + years – (8) eight hours (Capped at 240 hours a year)

Sick Leave:

Accumulated at the rate of (4) four hours per pay period. (Unlimited carry over)

If you are former applicant you may have read or are familiar with the “100 mile rule”. This rule basically stated that you could NOT work within 100 miles of your residence. This rule no longer applies. Applicants are encouraged to apply to their hometowns if stations are available on the list of stations listed in the Job Announcement. Toolkit/Flyers/CBP Veterans Recruitment Brochure.pdf

I will forward you a hiring packet with several attachments and links. Please open the attachments, print them if possible, and review each link. Once you create a resume please allow a recruiter to review and approve your resume prior to submitting your resume to the Hiring Center to prevent your application process and resume from being rejected and/or delayed. Thank you.


Richard Santos

Border Patrol Agent - Programs | CBP National Recruiter

Mission Readiness Operations Directorate | Recruitment Branch

Denver, Colorado | U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters

iPhone: (202) 664-0751 | Email:

U.S. Border Patrol is Hiring


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