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    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 announcement is "Location Negotiable" which means the duty location offered in your final offer may include any southwest border location within the United States that meets operational and mission requirements, and critical agency hiring needs. See the How to Apply section below for more information.

    This is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GL-5, GL-7, 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-5 and make $41,187 - $51,484 per year*

    · be promoted in August 2019 to GL-7 and make $46,879 - $58,599 per year*

    · be promoted in August 2020 to GL-9 and make $52,285 - $65,356 per year*

    · be promoted in August 2021 to GS-11 and make $61,218 - $76,522 per year*

    · be promoted in August 2022 to GS-12 and make $73,375 - $91,718 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. See the Additional Information section below for more information.

    Applying early will ensure the most options for scheduling the online entrance exam. The last day of online testing ends June 25, 2018.

    Learn more about this agency


    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.

    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 CBP.gov.

    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.

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    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-5 step 10, which equates to an approximate $21,460 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.

    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.

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

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

    All agency employees are required to participate in Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer for salary payments.


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

    You qualify for the GL-5 grade level (starting salary $41,187 up to $51,484 with potential overtime) if you possess one of the following:


    Experience: One year of general work experience that demonstrates the ability to take charge, make sound decisions, and maintain composure in stressful situations; learn law enforcement regulations, methods and techniques through classroom training and/or on-the-job instruction; and gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents and records;


    Education Substitution: A bachelor's degree or a full 4-year course of study from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university; OR Will receive a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university within 9 months from the closing date of this announcement and will upload all official or unofficial transcripts before the closing date of this announcement;


    Combination of Experience and Education: A combination of successfully completed post-high school education and general work experience. This will be calculated using your resume and official or unofficial transcripts submitted with your application.

    You qualify for the GL-7 grade level (starting salary $46,879 up to $58,599 with the potential overtime) if you possess one of the following:

    Experience: One year of specialized work experience that demonstrates the ability to make arrests and exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms; deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous, tactful manner in connection with law enforcement matters; 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 matters; and develop and maintain contact with a network of informants; 


    Education Substitution: A bachelor's degree with Superior Academic Achievement, which is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average (ie. GPA of 3.0 or higher of a possible 4), or (3) honor society membership. Go to Superior Academic Achievement to see if you qualify under the provisionally;

    OR: One full year of graduate level education in a field of study related to law enforcement (e.g., criminal justice, homeland security, justice studies, law enforcement, courts and judicial systems, forensic technology, forensic psychology, corrections and rehabilitation) at an accredited or pre-accredited college or university;

    Combination of Experience and Education: A combination of successfully completed post-high school education and specialized work experience. This will be calculated using your resume and official or unofficial transcripts submitted with your application.

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

    If you have previous or current law enforcement or military law enforcement experience, you may qualify at the GL-9 grade level. Please refer to the BPA GL-9 announcement: Apply Here!

    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.

    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 an additional 25% of your base pay in accordance with the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014.


    Refer to the Qualification Section for information on education substitution.

    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 you do not meet the medical standards for the position, you may request a waiver of the medical standard by demonstrating with non-medical information that, with or without reasonable accommodation, you 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 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 test. 

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

    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.  

    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, and Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring. These authorities are subject to change.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated based on your passing BPA entrance examination score (external assessments), resume, supporting documents, and responses to the job questionnaire. Test scores prior to June 20, 2017, are no longer valid.

    The entrance exam (external assessment) contains the following two (2) assessments: The Border Patrol Experience Record assessment and Logical Reasoning Skills.  To be eligible, applicants must pass the exam with a score of at least 70. Proper test preparation is essential for the successful candidate; therefore, we strongly encourage you to review the  BPA Entrance Exam Study Guide.

    You should take the BPA Entrance Exam Pre-Test (sample entrance examination). The pre-test will give you a preview of the types of questions you can expect to see on the actual exam. You will not be able to retake the entrance exam for six (6) months, regardless of whether you pass or fail.

    Reasonable Accommodation Requests: If you believe you have a disability (i.e., physical or mental), covered by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and Americans with Disabilities Act 1990, as amended, that would interfere with completing the BPA Entrance Exam, click here for more information about the Reasonable Accommodations Request Process. Requests for Reasonable Accommodations for the BPA Entrance Exam must be received before the announcement closes to be considered for this job opening. Decisions on requests for Reasonable Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. After notification of the adjudication of your request, you will receive an email invitation to complete the BPA Entrance Exam.

    If you pass the entrance exam and 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.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Not Applicable

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    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.

    Transcripts: Required if basing any part of your qualifications on education and must be in English from an accredited institution. Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended are required. Official transcripts preferred but will accept unofficial at the time of application. Official transcripts are required upon receipt of a final offer of employment. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal qualification requirements if you can show that your foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence with your application. See Recognition of Foreign Qualifications for more information.

    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)

    · Agency

                                 · Beginning and ending dates of appointment

    All documents must be uploaded through USA Jobs. 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 them

    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.

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    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.

    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. 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.

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    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 to fill out the questionnaire and submit your application. All application materials, including transcripts, must be in English. If you are planning to apply using your phone or tablet, see Browser Compatibility.

    You may apply only once. You must submit your resume, application questionnaire, and any supporting documents at the time you submit your application. Please see the What to Expect Next section for more information. If you pass the entrance exam and meet qualifications, you will be contacted for placement into the hiring process. 

    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.

    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 more information on applying for federal employment.  

    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 common definitions of terms found in this announcement. 

    Agency contact information

    Frontline CBP VRA


    CBP VRA Entry Level
    5600 American Blvd
    Bloomington, MN 55437-1450
    Learn more about this agency

    Customs & Border Protection (CBP):  Securing America's Borders

    Visit our careers page

    Learn more about what it's like to work at Customs and Border Protection, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.


    Next steps

    Once you submit your application, and you are found eligible based on your responses to the online application questionnaire, you will receive an email from assessments@usahire.opm.com with a link to complete the Border Patrol Experience Record assessment of the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Examination. You must complete this portion of the exam on a personal computer within 72 hours of receipt. Upon completion, you will receive a second email from USAHire_support@panpowered.com to schedule the remaining assessment of the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Examination at a local testing center.  Testing will be conducted May 21-June 25, 2018.

    After test scores are uploaded, we will assess your experience and training. Applicants will be referred for selection consideration throughout the announcement open period as they successfully complete the entrance exam and meet minimum qualifications.  A passing score does not guarantee selection.

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

    Your status will be updated on USA Jobs throughout the process. To check your status, log into your USA Jobs account and go to your home page to view active applications. For detailed status, click on the plus sign (+) next to the announcement.  

    CBP does not pay for travel.

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.

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 process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants 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 in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:

  • 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.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/499481400. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.