How to Get Hired: Immigration & Checkpoints Authority

With the challenging global security landscape that we operate in, ICA has to constantly maintain a high level of vigilance to keep our borders safe and secure.
Kelly Lim
Director, Planning & Review Division

What are the skill sets you look for in fresh graduate applicants?

The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) is responsible for ensuring that the movement of people, goods and conveyances through our checkpoints is legitimate and lawful. We also administer and uphold our laws on immigration, citizenship and national registration fairly and effectively.

Border Security and Identification form our two areas of focus. Hence, to fulfil our mission, we recruit applicants who possess a security-focused mindset. He or she must also have strong analytical skills, be adaptable, confident, a team player, and an effective communicator.

Please give us an example of a past year’s case study/challenge that your organisation has used in your assessment process.

With the challenging global security landscape that we operate in, ICA has to constantly maintain a high level of vigilance to keep our borders safe and secure. Hence, in our assessment of the applicant’s analytical and thinking skills, we engage them on their views on how ICA can continue to uphold border security whilst taking cognizance of the various challenges we face, including the ever-increasing public expectations for high level of service and efficiency.

Does your company have a structured graduate programme? If so, what advice would you give to graduates wanting to make the most of these programmes?

ICA strives to be a pace-setter in people development and a choice employer dedicated to people excellence.

For a start, all newly recruited Inspectors undergo a 16-week ICA Basic Course at the Home Team Academy, followed by four weeks of on-the-job training at the checkpoints. Upon graduation, they would go through a foundational posting where they would be deployed to one of the Commands (Woodlands, Tuas or Coastal) for the first two to three years of their career.

They would then go through a developmental posting to work units based on their aptitude and suitability – e.g. some will delve into enforcement-related work, including conducting investigations and operations to detect immigration offenders; while others are considered for policy-related work such as to manage and assess applications for permanent residency or citizenship.

The aim is to develop them to be a professional in border security, in-land enforcement and policy administration. ICA Direct-Entry Inspectors will have the opportunity to take on different appointments throughout their career here. It is therefore important to show leadership and communication skills as they lead, motivate and command a team of highly-skilled and well-trained ICA officers.

How do you identify culture fit during the recruitment process?

In ICA, our values are Integrity, Commitment and Accountability. We look for applicants who are driven by our mission, inspired by our vision, and guided by our values. To ensure that the applicant can fit with the ICA culture, we ask questions to ascertain if the applicant can resonate with our mission and vision, and if he or she possesses the values that we uphold.

Please describe your company’s culture in three words.

‘Can-Do’, ‘Be-Better’ and ‘Collaborative’.