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Border Patrol Application

Border Patrol Application: Getting Started
Border Patrol Application

We know you’re serious about working for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, so make SURE to pay attention to your application!! This is the first step towards fulfilling your dream of becoming a Border Patrol Agent.

When the CBP recruits, the job opportunity announcement is open to all U.S. citizens so make sure you so your very best work!!

In this report, we will give you guidelines on how to prepare your border patrol application. This section will focus on how to get you started with this very integral aspect in your journey towards becoming an employee of the CBP.

Read the entire CBP announcement. Before you go about assembling your border patrol application, you need to know what documents to prepare. This usually includes your resume, transcripts, and other documents.

Prepare your resume.

At the USAJOBS ( website, you will be asked to either upload your resume or create it by answering the questions generated by the system itself. Either way, you need to have an updated, professional resume on hand, complete with all dates, former employers and other data to support your application.

Remember, your resume should contain the information required in the job announcement so be SURE to customize it for THIS job!

Answer the Pre-Test Questionnaire. Aside from the above-mentioned documents, you will usually be asked to answer a pre-test questionnaire that will serve as a glimpse of how well you will do in the written entrance test. Don’t leave out blanks and be sure to answer everything that is asked of you.

Be honest. When completing your online application, you will be asked certain questions that will have to do with your criminal, employment, and credit history. The rule of thumb in these situations is to always tell the truth. Even if you do get away with a lie at first, the thorough background investigation that the CBP hiring committee will do is certainly going to reveal those secrets you want to keep. But while felony convictions and a misdemeanor conviction for a crime of domestic violence will automatically disqualify you, other undesirable parts of your history (e.g. bad credit record) will be evaluated on a case-to-case basis.

Send your application package before the set deadline. The deadline of a particular CBP job opportunity is posted on the Overview part of the USAJOBS announcement beside the subheading “Open Period.” Make it a point to send your online application before the deadline so that you still have time to re-send in case of computer glitches and faulty Internet connection.

Border Patrol Application: The Process

Now that you already have an idea how to get started with your border patrol application, it is now time to understand the lengthy process. The time you submit your application to the moment you can proudly call yourself a border patrol agent can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months. This means that patience is a much-needed virtue while you wait for the results of your application.

So while you wait for your border patrol application to clear the various selection hurdles, let’s look at the vital steps that make up the entire process. Let’s assume that you have already sent your application package online. What happens next?

U.S. Border Patrol Entrance Examination. A written test which will test your general knowledge, logical reasoning, and language abilities (Spanish), this is the first step that you should pass if you want to be an agent. If you do not yet know Spanish, you will be asked to take an artificial language test designed to predict your ability to learn a foreign language. You must receive a score of 70 on this exam to still be in the running for the border patrol agent position. Failure in the entrance test means that all your dreams of becoming a CBP employee will have to be put on hold—for at least a year, that is. You can only retake this test after the prescribed one-year waiting period.

Application Evaluation. As soon as your application and test scores are received, it will be evaluated by the CBP hiring personnel who will then rank all the applicants. It is important that your email address is valid since status updates will be sent here.  Evaluation consists of checking that you have answered all the necessary questions, uploaded all the needed documents, and of course, determining if you meet the requirements of the job.

All border patrol applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be rated based on the various categories.

Those who are highly-ranked will be referred to the manager or selecting official who will usually conduct his or her own evaluation or interviews.

Selection of Candidates. There are other steps in the process, too, such as drug testing, medical screening, physical fitness tests, and polygraph tests that all applicants must pass with flying colors.

One of the most nerve-racking areas in the selection process is the oral board interview where experienced border patrol agents will ask you questions about being a border patrol agent. The CBP hiring team will also conduct a background investigation of your history once you are done with all these pre-employment tests.    

These are the essential parts of the border patrol application process. Hopefully, you will clear each step without any problems and finally be able to wear your crisp border patrol uniform.

Border Patrol Application: Tips for Handling the Background Investigation and the Polygraph Exam

 The purpose of a background investigation is to guatantee all agents are reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character and loyal to the United States.

Should something questionable in your background appear, you will be provided the opportunity to personally explain, refute, or clarify any unfavorable/discrepant information before they make a final decision on your hiring.

So what exactly does the CBP do when they conduct a background investigation? Well, they will look into your employment and military history as well as your credit and criminal history. They will also verify records to check your citizenship and that of your family members, and determine if the data you gave about your date of birth, education, and others are accurate. They will verify the places where you lived as well.

In the course of the investigation, they will ask to interview you. The CBP hiring officers will also interview neighbors, previous bosses, and other people who know you (including your divorced spouse within the past decade). Your public records will be examined as well.

So is it better to lie about discrepancies? Absolutely not! First of all, it will get you into a whole lot of legal troubles. The U.S. Criminal Code states that anyone who knowingly falsifies or conceals material fact is committing a felony that is punishable by up to a $10,000 fine, imprisonment of 5 years or both. If you have questions about your past, it is better for you to share your concerns with a border patrol recruiter who can enlighten you on your chances rather than lie in your border patrol application.

The background investigation can take some time. It will especially be longer if you do not give complete information in your border patrol application documents or if you lived in multiple geographic areas.

Frontline law enforcement positions of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (e.g. Border Patrol Agent, Air and Marine Interdiction Agents, CBP Officers) are polygraph-designated positions. This means that you will have to undergo and pass a polygraph exam as part of the background investigations. You will be asked to answer questions on your suitability for employment with the CBP as well as questions that related to national security concerns. You don’t have to worry about what the questions are since the examiner will explain and review the questions that will be asked of you before the actual exam will take place.

Despite this, you are still understandably anxious—and this can alter your results which might lead to failure. Knowing how to relax is an essential part of passing the polygraph test. So the night before your test, don’t think about it but try to get a good night’s rest. Before you arrive at the testing center, be sure to eat something—you need the energy to fuel your mental faculties. Prepare your photo IDs such as your Driver’s License or passport as well as your updated e-QIP (SF-86) information beforehand so that you won’t have to frantically look for it on the morning of your test. Wear decent but comfortable clothing as well. The polygraph test can take anywhere from four to six hours to complete so you should not have any other schedule for this day.

At the end of the test, you will be advised by the examiner if you passed or failed the exam and give you the chance to comment on any areas that are of mutual concern to you. The examiner will also examine the polygraph Quality Control process to you. The Quality Control process is when the examiner will submit your Polygraph Examination results to the Polygraph Quality Control section in the Credibility Assessment Division for final review. If the QC agrees with the examiner’s opinion about your results then those will be sent to the Personnel Security Division to be included background investigation file. If the QC does not agree then you will be asked to retake the test.

Take note that you can withdraw your border patrol application any time. If you are applying to become a CBP Officer and want to withdraw your application, just contact the Minneapolis Hiring Center at (952) 857-2943. Border Patrol Agent applicants who want to withdraw their border patrol applications can get in touch with the Minneapolis Hiring Center at (952) 857-2910.

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