Job Opportunity FAQs

Prospective applicants who want to apply for border patrol positions have a lot of questions regarding the process. Perhaps you are even one of them. In this post, we address some common questions posed by those interested to get a job with the CBP.

Question: Am I eligible to apply for border patrol?

Answer: The eligibility criteria for those who wish to apply for border patrol positions are indicated in the “Qualifications and Evaluations” portion in the USAJOBS announcement. However, the key requirements are U.S. Citizenship and a resident of the USA or its territories or protectorates for at least three years prior to the application; be below 40 years old when appointed; and no criminal history (felony convictions or convictions for the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence).

Question: Can I apply for border patrol if I am above 40 years old?

Answer: Yes, but only 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). The age restriction does not also apply if you are a veterans’ preference eligible.

Question: Will having a bad credit record prevent me from applying?

Answer: No, but it might make you unsuitable to become a border patrol agent. This, however, will be determined by the CBP hiring officers. Automatic disqualifiers are felony convictions and conviction for the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Other issues like bad credit history and firings from previous employment will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Question: Can I choose where I want to work if I apply for border patrol?

Answer: The announcement will give you the chance to choose the location where you prefer to work. However, there are no guarantees that you will really be stationed there. Also, be sure to mark only the preferred number of CBP duty stations allowed by the vacancy announcement. If you mark more than what the system permits, it will automatically eliminate the excess choices and as a result, your most preferred location could be deleted as well.

Question: Can I apply to a border patrol vacancy announcement more than once?

Answer: Yes, but do make sure that you complete the questionnaire before submitting as this sending a partially-answered questionnaire will lower your chances of getting your application selected. It is much better if you take the time to answer the questionnaire completely, prepare a complete application, and submit it once to prevent any problems. Should you feel the need to submit a second questionnaire, however, you may still do so but you do not need to resubmit your other documents.

Question: When I apply for border patrol, how long is my application going to be valid?

Answer: Generally, the period of eligibility for all applications to a job announcement is around 3 months or 90 days. However, there are times when your application is going to be on file for six months or one year. The job announcement will indicate the exact length of time that applications will be valid.

Question: Can I still make changes to an application I already submitted?

Answer: Yes, for as long as the announcement is still open. You will be asked to complete the questionnaire again and submit. However, you may use the fax option if you only need to add more documents. No changes can be made to your application once the announcement has closed.  

Question: How should I prepare for the pre-employment fitness tests when apply for border patrol?

Answer: You will be subjected to two physical fitness tests before you can be considered for Border Patrol Agent employment. If you are not yet into an exercise regimen of some start, now would be a good time to start a walking and/or running program. Start slow and gradually increase your intensity level. Strength training will also enhance your muscular strength. Before you start any of these activities, however, be sure to visit your doctor to ensure that you have no undiagnosed illnesses and to get his recommendations on how much workout you should do for your age and level of fitness.

Question: How should I prepare for the written test when I apply for border patrol?

Answer: You can download study guides from the CBP website (www.cbp.gov). It’s also a good idea to supplement these with resources you can find online as well as from your library or local bookstore. Find time to study regularly. Familiarize yourself with the test instructions and possible questions (found in the CBP study guides) so that you will be comfortable with the written test.

Question: Do I get paid when I start training at the Border Patrol Academy?

Answer: Yes, all new recruits who are sent to the Border Patrol Academy for mandatory training receive their basic pay and a small allowance to defray incidental expenses. Room and board are free in the Academy. However, you will have to pay your own travel costs to get to Artesia, New Mexico where the Academy is located.