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The hiring process for those who want to become Border Patrol Agents (BPA) is a lengthy one. From searching for vacancies in the USAJOBS (www.usajobs.gov) website to actually sending your application to undergoing the actual selection process then to finally getting an employment offer, you will realize that patience is a virtue. On the average, the wait is likely going to take about six months. But it’s not unusual for some to wait for one or two years before they can officially call themselves border patrol agents. If you’re in luck, you can become a BPA in as short as two weeks but this is the exception rather than the rule.
The first step in the hiring process is the written test. This is then followed by physical fitness tests, a medical exam, structured interview, drug screening, polygraaph test, and background investigation. If you pass all these evaluations, you will be given a tentative selection letter that contains the conditions that you must fulfill to become a full-fledged BPA. It also contains your Applicant ID number which you will use the access the CASS or the Central Applicant Self-Service to check your application status.
The CASS (https://apps.cbp.gov/cass/) is the automated system that enables all applicants who have already received a tentative selection letter for such entry-level positions as agricultural specialists, border patrol agents, and CBP officers to check the status of their pre-employment processes. This means that those who have not yet been tentatively selected will not be able to access the CASS.
After you have logged in to the CASS system using the last four digits of your Social Security number and your Applicant ID number, you will be able to check the status of your pre-employment forms; qualifications; medical exam; structured interview; drug screening; background investigation; and fitness test. The CASS also provides information on the status of the video-based test and your scheduled report date. The CASS system is updated on a weekly basis. Remember that if you have multiple applications lodged with the Customs and Border Protection, then you must check each of them separately using the Application ID number provided for each of them.
If you see your CASS status showing that you still have pending forms to submit even if you have already sent in your forms, don’t panic. The CBP says that your forms status will not change until all your forms needed for the background investigation have been forwarded to the Office of Internal Affairs from the Minneapolis Hiring Center. With the CASS, it is now easier for you to determine where your application to become a border patrol agent already stands.