Working As An Immigration Officer

Working As An Immigration Officer – According to Law Chun-nam, an immigration officer, people skills are crucial for this job because you meet hundreds of tourists and residents every day.

Immigration officers don’t just check passports. They also issue visas and marriage certificates, raid construction sites to combat illegal workers, and deal with refugees. Joey Chan talks to Commander Law Chun-nam.

Working As An Immigration Officer

Communication and interpersonal skills are the main qualities that Law Chun-nam looks for in an immigration officer because this is a people job. The officer comes into contact with hundreds of tourists and residents every day, for example working at border posts or handling torture cases at headquarters.

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The law says that good communication skills can be important, for example, when trying to calm down an angry visitor whose visa has been refused. Immigration officials should help the person understand the reasons for their decision and what can be done about it.

Thousands of tourists enter or leave Hong Kong every day. It requires good skills to detect fake documents and analytical mind to identify suspicious ones.

Officers need strong leadership skills. A visa office can have a team of up to 30, while a section has about 10 officers who take people to court.

An Immigration Officer must have a Bachelor’s Degree in any subject and must have passed the Common Recruitment Test. New recruits undergo a 25-week induction program at the Immigration Service’s Training and Development Institute.

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The program covers all aspects of immigration operations, from constitution and immigration policy to leadership and human resource management. During the training, fresh students are directed to work in different departments.

The Immigration Department is divided into six main branches: Control; fulfillment and assessment of tort claims; information systems; management and support; personal documents; and visas and policies. New hires work in two or three positions, each lasting about 12 months, during a three-year probationary period. The law says the rotation allows them to become more familiar with the department’s operations.

Law has been with the immigration office for 27 years. He started as an assistant at Lo Wu and airport control points. He describes the branch as a Shaolin monastery where he meets all kinds of people, from illegal workers to foreign workers, and gets into difficult situations. He then joined the prosecution team to deal with immigration crimes such as sham marriages. Later, he had to perform more administrative and complex tasks, including torture claims. Now heads the law institute and is responsible for staff training and career development.

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As they move up the career ladder, immigration officers take on more managerial and administrative roles, such as law enforcement officers. They can be promoted to Senior Immigration Officer, then Immigration Officer and Principal Immigration Officer.

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Learning doesn’t stop when you graduate. Even after working for several years, you may need to attend a training program to improve your skills.

The rest of the staff can go on exchange programs to the mainland or abroad. Last year, Law studied management in Chicago, USA, while some of his colleagues worked at Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris, France.

After the application is sent to the immigration department, there is an extensive evaluation process. The first step is a written test, followed by a physical fitness test, an interview, a detailed written test and a final interview.

Take the immigration officers at Hong Kong International Airport for example. They work 44 hours a week. They do shifts except for logistics and administrative support.

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Their work schedule mainly depends on the flow of tourists. At the administrative level, they supervise immigration assistants to ensure the counters are running smoothly and check suspicious visitors and travel documents. From father to son: hours of work and service With two sons who are also officers working at the Immigration and Checkpoints, Checkpoint Senior Inspector 2 Abdul Hameed inspires both at home and at work.

Senior Checkpoint Inspector 2 (SCI2) Abdul Hamed is still holding his first paycheck when he joined the Immigration Department, now known as the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), in 1981. $295 may not seem like much, but it was enough for the young officer.

Ultimately, SCI2 motivated Hamed’s interest in the work of an immigration officer out of curiosity, which he felt was more than “passport clipping.”

“I just wanted to give it a go and now I’ve been at the ICA for almost 40 years,” he jokes.

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In total, he has held six different posts in his 37 years of service, including posts in all three areas of the ICA – land, air and sea. The 57-year-old currently serves as a supervisor at the ICA Changi Airport Command. As Deputy Team Leader, his duties include managing his team’s deployment schedule and handling referrals from primary screening officers at the ICA counters.

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But SCI2 Hamed’s remarkable record does not end there. The highlight of his career came in 2004 when he was appointed as a visa management officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For two years, he worked for ICA Immigration at the Consulate General of Singapore in Chennai, India.

“I had to take the opportunity because it’s rare to be able to represent your country. I had the Singaporean flag on my desk the whole time to remind myself to keep my standards,” he said.

“You’re working in a country where the culture is very different from Singapore. So I always reminded myself that I was representing my country and my department.

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As for fatherhood, SCI2 Hamed describes himself as a “strict disciplinarian” who made sure his two sons didn’t get into trouble or hang out with bad company in their childhood.

But there’s a difference between being strict and being authoritarian, and for Hamed of SCI2, no decision is too small to discuss with his family. From choosing a new color for the apartment to buying big items like a car, she makes sure to consult with her family so that no one feels left out.

“My dad is an amazing dad – he’s a disciplinarian, you don’t need discipline,” said eldest son Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Zainal Abidin. “He instills discipline, does not use force. I always remember him coming to my room late at night to explain why he was cursing me and my brother.

SSgt Zainal, 31, has been in the service for almost eight years and recently completed a degree in psychology sponsored by the Home Office. His younger brother has been with the organization for about 1.5 years.

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“I’m still new to the service and have a lot to learn. If I need advice, the first person I go to is my brother,” said Sergeant 2 (Sergeant 2) Zainul Arifin, 27. “But if I need high-level advice, I turn to my father. Only when the matter is serious will you find the “Supreme Judge”!

The family in blue, guarding Singapore’s borders as ICA officers. From left: Ssgt Zainal, SCI2 Hamed and Sgt2 Zainul. Photo: Mohammad Khair

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Affectionately known as “Abah” (Malay for “father”), SCI2 Hamed cares for them deeply despite his tough facade.

“At night, when they were very small, they slept in my arms. It’s all about the personal touch,” says Hamed of SCI2, explaining that it was her way of bonding and showing love. “I’ve seen how kids can become distant if you leave them with friends. They share more with their friends than with their parents.”

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This approach has paid off; Whether it’s a personal or work-related issue, SCI2 Hamed and his children share an unbreakable bond. He adds, “Even now, these grown boys are still in their laps.”

EARLY LESSONS IN RESPONSIBILITY: At the age of 8, SSgt Zainal (left) was tasked with looking after the house while his father was at work. This duty also included taking care of the carpet in my cousins’ living room. ” added. Tend to mess up. Photo: Mohammad Khair

His softer side also comes out when he is a grandfather to his four-year-old granddaughter, SSgt Zainal’s daughter, whom he unapologetically spoils with candy and chocolate, something he didn’t do when his two sons were growing up. .

“As a young father, my life was not as comfortable as it is now,” he said, describing how Sgt2 Zainul received a handwritten note from his older siblings. “But not for my grandson! He can go to the supermarket and I’ll get him whatever he wants. I’ll never say no to him.”

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Father’s Day: Spending quality time with family For SCI2 Hemmed, it’s the little things that matter most, and Father’s Day is usually a simple but rewarding affair. The family usually goes bowling and dines together at their favorite Indian restaurant; It recalls SCI2 Hamed’s childhood days growing up in Little India.

However, this year will be a little different – ​​with Hari Raya and Father’s Day falling on the same weekend this year, SCI2 Hamed plans to make a special dish for his family. This

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