Border Patrol Agent (VRA)

Customs and Border Protection - United States (30+ days ago)4.1

This announcement has been extended past the original close date of May 19, 2018, and will now close on May 31, 2018.

This announcement is for Veteran's Recruitment Authority (VRA) eligible applicants only. For more information on VRA eligibilities, see Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans. If you have not served in the U.S. military or if you do not qualify under VRA, please apply to our Direct Hire Announcement here.

A fully trained Border Patrol Agent (BPA) may be eligible for overtime pay (up to an additional 25% of salary). Border Patrol Agents (BPA) may also have a higher starting salary based on their duty location. Please visit the OPM website for more information.

This is a targeted announcement for applicants with previous/current law enforcement or military law enforcement experience. Please see the"Qualifications" section below to determine eligibility.

Discover a challenging and rewarding career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the sole organization responsible for securing the nation's borders. CBP employees protect our Nation's borders from terrorism, human and drug smuggling, illegal migration, and agricultural pests while simultaneously facilitating the flow of legitimate travel and trade.

This is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GL-9, GS-11, and GS-12. You will be eligible for a promotion to the next higher grade level (without re-applying) once you successfully complete 52 weeks in each grade level (with supervisor approval). For example you could:

  • start as a BPA in August 2018 as a GL-9 and make $51,424 - $64,280 per year*
  • be promoted in August 2019 to GS-11 and make $60,210 - $75,262 per year*
  • be promoted in August 2020 to GS-12 and make $72,168 - $90,210 per year*
  • Please note this example includes a range from minimum locality pay up to maximum potential salary with overtime earnings. Pay rates are based on the 2018 "Rest of the United States" salary table and do not take into consideration higher locality pay where applicable or yearly cost of living increases.
Polygraph Information: Border Patrol Agent (BPA) is a polygraph-designated position. You must complete and pass a polygraph examination to be eligible for the position. If you have a current TS-SCI clearance, you may be eligible for a polygraph waiver.

Learn more about this agency
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling on those who want to help protect American interests and secure our Nation. DHS Components work collectively to prevent terrorism; secure borders and our transportation systems; protect the President and other dignitaries; enforce and administer immigration laws; safeguard cyberspace; and ensure resilience to disasters. We achieve these vital missions through a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

The video: Border Patrol – Protecting the Homeland emphasizes the importance of Border Patrol's frontline role in helping CBP accomplish its mission. For more information on CBP's mission, activities, and careers please visit our website at

Apply to this exciting opportunity to strengthen the Department's and our partners' ability to perform their homeland security functions by doing the following:

Patrol international land borders and coastal waters
Detect and prevent the illegal entry and smuggling of aliens into the United States
Detect and prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering into the United States
Prevent the illegal trafficking of people, narcotics and contraband into the United States
Being a Border Patrol Agent makes you a valuable member of the Federal Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) profession. Typical assignments include:

Detecting, preventing, and apprehending undocumented aliens and smugglers of aliens at or near the land borders by maintaining surveillance from covert positions
Responding to electronic sensor alarms
Interpreting and following tracks, marks and other physical evidence
Using infrared scopes during night operations
Responding to aircraft sighting and other anti-smuggling activities
Performing farm and ranch checks, traffic checks, city patrols, and transportation checks
Patrolling the international boundary and coastal waterways and using a variety of Government assets for the accomplishments of USBP Mission. These assets may include, but are not limited to: vehicles, horses, vessels, watercraft, off road vehicles, ATV's, snowmobiles and motorcycles
Travel Required
Occasional travel - Travel may be required based on operational needs

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential

Who May Apply
This job is open to…
VRA Eligible Applicants Only
Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

Job family (Series)
1896 Border Patrol Enforcement Series

Conditions of Employment
You must successfully pass a polygraph examination
You must successfully pass a background investigation
You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position
Referred for selection prior to your 40th birthday (waiver for Veterans)
Convictions of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence are disqualifying
You will be required to carry a firearm
You will be required to work regular and recurring shift work
You must have resided in the U.S. for the last 3 years
You must meet job-related medical, fitness and drug-testing standards
You must have a valid driver's license
This is an Excepted Service appointment. After successfully completing 2 years of service, you will be converted to the competitive service.

Firearm Proficiency: Firearm proficiency is required for Border Patrol Agents and is part of the training provided.

Current Federal Employees: Current federal employees who apply to this announcement may be required to accept a change to lower grade which will reduce their current salary based on Federal pay regulations. Note: If you are a current GS-12 step 1, your salary may be reduced to a GL-9 step 10, which equates to an approximate $5,910.00 salary reduction (based on locality). Re-promotion is not guaranteed. Timeframes and grade level re-promotion is at the discretion of the agency.

Language Proficiency: Border Patrol work requires the ability to speak and read Spanish, as well as English.

Formal Training: You will be detailed to the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico for approximately 6 months of intensive instruction in immigration and nationality laws, law enforcement and Border Patrol-specific operations, drivers training, physical techniques, firearms, and other courses. You will also be provided training to become proficient with the Spanish language and will be tested on your language abilities.

Shift Work/Overtime: This position requires regular and recurring shift work. You must be willing and available to work rotating shifts. You may also be rotated between assignments and duty locations. You could be required to work overtime on a daily basis and will be compensated up to 25% of your base pay in accordance with the Border patrol Agent Reform Act of 2014.

Uniform: This position requires you to wear an officially-approved uniform while in a duty status.

Residency Requirement: To be considered for this position, an applicant must meet the residency requirement for three years before his or her application by:

1. Residing within the United States or its protectorate or territories; or

2. Working for the U.S. government as an overseas Federal or military employee; or

3. Being a dependent of a U.S. Federal or military employee serving overseas

Exceptions may be granted if you provide complete state-side coverage information regarding participation in "Study Abroad" programs, overseas church missions, or state-side addresses of anyone who worked or studied with you overseas. You must provide information and related documentation during the hiring process.

The qualification requirements listed below must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

If you do not have previous or current law enforcement or military law enforcement experience, you may qualify for the GL-5 or GL-7 grade levels. Please refer to the GL-5/7 grade level announcement here.

You qualify for the GL-9 grade level (starting salary $ 52,285 up to $65,356 with potential overtime) if you possess the following:

One year of specialized work experience in law enforcement that demonstrates the ability to make arrests which includes the detainment of a person(s), handcuffing, restraining, arresting or containment of person(s) and/or have one year of specialized work experience that demonstrates the ability to develop and maintain contact with a network of informants, social and political organizations, state and local enforcement agencies, and private citizens, to ensure continuity of enforcement work and to carry out enforcement responsibilities. Experience should also demonstrate the ability to perform or conduct several of the following: criminal investigation involving violation of state, local or federal laws; seizure of illegal contraband (drugs); law enforcement database checks for citizenship, warrants, etc.; obtain or execute search warrants relevant to criminal cases or activity; testify in court to present evidence or act as a witness in administrative and/or criminal cases; administer oaths and/or receive sworn statements or facts from witnesses or other parties; exercise sound judgement in interpreting and applying matters relating to national security; deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous, tactful manner in connection with law enforcement matters; and/or analyze information rapidly and make prompt decisions or take prompt and appropriate law enforcement action in light of applicable laws, court decisions, and sound law enforcement procedures.

If you meet minimum qualifications, you will be contacted for placement into the hiring process. CBP does not pay for travel.

To be eligible for overtime, employees must be fully trained.

National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience): refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Political Appointees: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.

Age Requirement: Effective May 14, 2016, the Commissioner of CBP has approved a temporary increase in the maximum allowable age for original placement into a BPA position; therefore, candidates must be referred for selection before reaching their 40th birthday (increased from age 37). In accordance with Public Law 100-238, this position is covered under law enforcement retirement provisions. However, the age restriction may not apply if you are currently serving or have previously served in a federal civilian law enforcement (non-military) position covered by Title 5 U.S.C. 8336(c) or Title 5 U.S.C. 8412(d). This measure will increase the statutorily mandatory retirement to an age of up to 60 to allow individuals the opportunity to complete 20 years of law enforcement service (See U.S.C 8425 (b)(1) and 8335 (b)(1)).

The age restriction does not apply if you are a veterans' preference eligible. For more information on eligibility as a veterans' preference eligible please see the OPM veterans' guide.

Additional information
Polygraph Examination: The BPA position is a polygraph-required position. You must take a polygraph exam and have favorable results in order to continue in the pre-employment process. Please see Polygraph Examination.

Polygraph Reciprocity: CBP may accept the results of a prior federal polygraph exam in lieu of a CBP polygraph exam. You will receive information to request reciprocity in your Background Investigation package.

Polygraph Waiver: Certain veterans may be eligible to obtain a polygraph waiver. You will receive information to request a waiver in your Background Investigation package.

Background Investigation: This position is a sensitive National Security Position and, upon selection, candidates will be required to undergo, and must successfully pass, a Tier 5 investigation or equivalent for placement and retention in this position. For more information, please see Background Investigation.

Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence: The Border Patrol Agent position is a weapons-carrying position. Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence cannot lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition. Therefore, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, you are not qualified for this position.

Medical/Physical Requirements: This position has medical/physical requirements. Click here for position specific requirements. You must complete the medical screening process and be found to meet the medical standards for the position. Employees in this position may be required to undergo a medical examination/evaluation at the request of the Agency. If a candidate/employee does not meet the medical standards for the position, s/he may request a waiver of the medical standard by demonstrating with non-medical information that s/he, with or without reasonable accommodation, can safely perform the essential duties of the position.

Drug Testing Requirements: This is a drug testing designated position. You must complete and pass a drug test as a condition of employment. Employees are subject to drug testing in compliance with the Agency's Drug-Free Workplace Program.

Physical Fitness Requirement: You will be required to successfully pass the Pre-employment Fitness Test. Please see the Pre-employment Fitness Test-1 Readiness Program for additional information. This is a 6 week program designed to assist you in achieving a level of physical fitness that will help you successfully pass the CBP fitness tests.

Interview Process: You will be required to pass a face-to-face structured interview (SI).

Driver's License: You must possess a valid driver's license.

Any offers of employment made pursuant to this announcement will be consistent with all applicable authorities, including Presidential Memoranda, Executive Orders, interpretive U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance.

If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.
All agency employees are required to participate in Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer for salary payments.

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How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, your experience and training will be rated using an online self-assessment questionnaire that is based on the competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities listed below. You will receive a score ranging from 70-100 based on your responses. Your entire application package will then be reviewed.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics (KSAOs): Candidates who meet the minimum qualification requirements are required to possess certain Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, or Other Characteristics (KSAOs) to successfully perform the functions of this position. Candidates will be asked to demonstrate their ability to perform these KSAOs in their resume. The KSAs are:

  • Knowledge of Immigration and Nationality Law (e.g., non-immigrant classification, immigrant classification, inadmissible aliens, removable aliens, derivative citizenship, 8 USC)
  • Knowledge of the Use of Force Policy (e.g., firearms, less-lethal devices and techniques, qualification requirements)
  • Knowledge of Criminal Law and Procedure (e.g., statutory authority)
  • Skill in Using Physical Techniques (e.g., self-defense, baton, OC spray, PLS)
  • Skill in Using Firearms (e.g., hand gun, shotgun, M-4)
  • Skill in Basic Operation of a Motor Vehicle (e.g., everyday use of vehicles, parallel parking)
If you meet minimum qualifications, you will be considered as follows:

1. Eligible applicants are considered as defined by 5 CFR 302.304(b).

2. Each qualified 10-point preference eligible who has a 10 percent or more compensable, service-connected disability is first, followed second by other 10-point preference eligible, and third, by 5-point preference eligible and last, by non-preference eligible.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance
Not Applicable

Required Documents
Required Documents
Resume: A resume in English is required. It must contain your full legal name, address, phone number, complete work history, a detailed description of your duties, the dates you performed those duties (MM/DD/YY), as well as your hours worked per week. Please see the CBP Border Patrol Agent Resume Aid for specific information and examples.

Assessment Questionnaire: You must submit the online job questionnaire.

Veteran's Documents: If you claim VRA eligibility you will be required to submit proof of eligibility (DD 214, Member-4 copy, Certificate of Release or Discharge). If you are qualifying for VRA eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must also submit documentation as listed on the SF-15.

Statement of Service (Certification letter): If you are still on active duty, you must submit certification from the Armed Service showing that you will be discharged or released from active duty. This certification should be on letterhead of the appropriate military branch of the service and contain (1) the military service dates including the expected discharge or release date; (2) campaign badges and expeditionary medals; and (3) the character of service. View more Veterans Preference.

Age Requirement Documents: If you are over the age of 40 you will need to submit proof you are eligible for the position of CBP Officer. If you are claiming an age waiver based on Federal law enforcement service; you must submit copies of your SF-50s reflecting the beginning date and end date of creditable Federal civilian (not military) service under Title 5 U.S.C. 8331(20), and Title 5 U.S.C.8401(17). Block 30 of your SF-50 should show Retirement Code M or O. If you do not meet the age requirement and you are unable to provide this required documentation, you will not receive consideration under this announcement. If you are claiming an age waiver based on veterans' preference, submit the required Veterans' Preference documents. Ensure that you enter your creditable service dates in the Job Related Experience field on the Questionnaire.

Are you a current or former political appointee? If you are or have been a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career, SES or Presidential appointee employee you must submit a copy of your most applicable SF-50, along with a statement that provides the following information regarding your most recent political appointment:

  • Position Title
  • Type of Appointment (Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES, or Presidential Appointee)
  • Beginning and ending dates of appointment
Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP)? Please submit:

  • a copy of your agency notice,
  • a copy of your most recent performance rating, and
  • a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, noting your current position, grade level, and duty location
All documents must be uploaded through USA Jobs. Due to system modifications, the option to fax documents is no longer possible. Please upload documents through your USA Jobs account. Your application packet must include a completed assessment questionnaire, a resume, and any applicable and/or required supporting documentation.

It is your responsibility to verify that information entered, or supporting documents that are uploaded and accurate. CBP will not modify, change, or contact you regarding the completeness or accuracy of your application. If a document is not legible, you will not be able to view it in Application Manager and you must again upload documents by the closing date.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include: tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select Benefits. Disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.

Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

How to Apply
How to Apply
To begin your online application, sign into USA Jobs or create a USA Jobs account if you do not already have one. Click Apply and follow the online prompts the fill out the questionnaire and submit your application. Your application packet must include a completed assessment questionnaire. All application materials, including transcripts, must be in English. If you are planning to apply using your phone or tablet, see Browser Compatibility.

Applications will not be accepted by mail or email. The address posted below is for inquiries only. You may apply only once. You must submit your resume, application questionnaire, and any supporting documents by 11:59 pm Eastern time Thursday, May 31, 2018.

Duty Locations: Locations for this announcement will be negotiated after VRA eligible applicants have cleared all pre-employment requirements. Locations available are based on the needs of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the time an applicant clears all pre-employment requirements. No location is guaranteed. The U.S. Border Patrol does not allow the initial assignment of Border Patrol Agent trainees to duty stations within a 100-mile radius of their pre-employment home of record. This will not affect your future career decisions or your ability to apply for or be selected for positions that are near your pre-employment home of record.

Relocation expenses will not be paid. To compare the cost of living data, calculate mortgage scenarios or gather information on communities and schools, see Relocation Tools.

Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) and Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles: If you have never worked for the federal government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible. View information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility on OPM's Career Transition Resources website. To be considered eligible under CTAP and/or ICTAP, you must submit the supporting documents listed under the required documents section of this announcement.

CBP encourages women, minorities, and veterans to apply for an exciting career with Customs and Border Protection.

Follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Twitter @CustomsBorder

View common definitions of terms found in this announcement.

Applying to this announcement certifies that you give permission for DHS to share your application with others in DHS for similar positions.

DHS uses e-Verify, an internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities.

View more information on applying for federal employment

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Agency contact information
Frontline CBP VRA


CBP VRA Entry Level
5600 American Blvd
Bloomington, MN
Learn more about this agency
Next steps
You will be referred for selection consideration during the announcement open period as you successfully complete the application, online questionnaire, and upload your documents. Your application and supporting documents will be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the GL-9 grade level. Applicants who successfully complete the application process between April 20-29, 2018, will be referred first for selection consideration. Applicants who subsequently successfully complete the application process will be referred based on the following application periods: April 30-May 9, May 9-23,2018, and May 24-31, 2018. Please ensure all required documents are uploaded at the time of application. A valid application does not guarantee selection. Your status will be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process. To check your status, log into your USAJOBS account and go to your home page to view active applications. For detailed status, click on the plus sign (+) next to the announcement. If you meet minimum qualifications, you will be contacted for placement into the hiring process.

If you are already in the pre-employment process for a VRA Border Patrol Agent position and you reapply under this announcement and are subsequently referred for a position, your new referral may replace any existing VRA Border Patrol Agent referral, and may delay your pre-employment processes.

If you meet minimum qualifications, you will be contacted for placement into the hiring process.

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Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants
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Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
Financial suitability
Social security number request
Privacy Act
Signature and false statements
Selective Service
New employee probationary period