As travel resumes, more of us are passing through the immigration lanes more frequently. Yet, most of us give nary a thought to the officers who keep our borders safe. In charge of securing our borders, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers work tireless to safeguard our safety.
One of the 7 departments under the Ministry of Home Affairs, ICA’s remuneration is very similar to the others such as Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force. However, there are still some differences. Here’s how much salary, sign-on bonuses, and other monetary incentives you can earn if you choose to join the ICA as a Home Affairs Services (ICA) Direct-Entry Sergeant or Inspector.
Read Also: Salary Guide To How Much Can You Earn If You Join The Singapore Police Force (SPF)
How Much Does Home Affairs Services (HAS) ICA Officer Earn?
If you join the ICA as a Sergeant, you can expect to earn between $1,840 to $2,502 depending on your educational qualifications, relevant work experience and completion of full-time National Service. In comparison, the median graduate starting salary for diploma holders and NITEC (without NS) is $2,669 and $1,720 respectively in 2020.
|Educational Qualification||Starting Monthly Salary|
|Diploma (5 local polytechnics/ NAFA/ LASALLE)||$2,230 to $2,502|
|GCE ‘A’ Level (including pass in GP/ KI)
IB Diploma/ NUS High School Diploma
|$2,040 to $2,502|
|Higher Nitec/ Nitec||$1,840 to $2,055|
|GCE ‘O’ Level|
If you join ICA as an Inspector, you can expect to earn between $4,100 to $4,771 depending on your educational qualifications, relevant work experience and completion of full-time National Service. In comparison, the median graduate starting salary for degree holders is $3,700 in 2020.
|Educational Qualification||Starting Monthly Salary|
|First Class Honours
Second (Upper) Class Honours
|$4,330 to $4,771|
|Second (Lower) Class Honours
Third Class Honours
|$4,100 to $4,624|
Additionally, you would also receive the following benefits:
- Annual leave (14 to 18 days for Sergeant and 18 to 21 days for Inspector)
- Medical and dental subsidies
- Group insurances
- Use of government holiday bungalows
- Sponsorship for postgraduate study
- Subsidies for sports and recreational activities
- Performance and annual bonuses
- Staff welfare benefits
Read Also: Salary Guide: How Much Can You Earn If You Join The Singapore Prison Service (SPS)
Additionally, newly appointed Sergeants may be eligible to receive a Sign-On Bonus of $8,000. This will be given in two tranches, $3,000 upon signing on and $5,000 upon confirmation after one-year probation. To receive the sign-on bonus, Sergeants will be bonded for two years, effective from the date of appointment.
Inspectors are not eligible for this bonus.
To qualify as an ICA officer, there are entry requirements aside from educational qualifications. Applicants must be physically fit, have normal colour vision and be a Singapore Citizen.
Applicants will need to pass a medical examination. Male applicants should preferably have a fitness level of PES A or B and those who do not have PES A or B will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Training and Upgrading
Aspiring ICA officers will have to undergo a 16- to 20-week training that is conducted at Home Team Academy.
For Sergeants, this is a 16-week non-residential course – ICA Basic Course (Sergeant). During the course, new Sergeants will learn the necessary skills and knowledge including document examination, people, goods and vehicle screening, behavioural analysis and profiling techniques, laws and regulations, firearms training, and basic unarmed combat training.
For Inspectors, this is a 20-week mainly non-residential course – ICA Basic Course (Inspector). The training would include document examination, people, goods and vehicle screening, behavioural analysis and profiling techniques, laws and regulations, firearms training, and basic unarmed combat training. There is also a supervisory development component that includes 5-day Leadership Challenge Programme and Home Team Programme at Home Team Academy (up to 10 days, excluding weekends). The Leadership Challenge Programme and Home Team Programme include a residential component and officers will need to serve a one-year bone upon completion of training.
In general, officers will not be allowed to take any vacation leave or time-off during the 16-week training.
ICA Officers Will Be Deployed To The Checkpoints
After completion of the ICA Basic Course (Inspector and Sergeant), officers will be deployed to one of the Commands – Woodlands, Tuas or Coastal, as part of their foundational posting. They will be required to wear a uniform while on duty.
After the foundational posting, officers will be posted to other areas of ICA’s operations for their development. This may include enforcement work such as conducting investigations and operations to detect illegal immigrants, smugglers, and contraband. There will also be opportunities for overseas postings.
Inspectors may also be deployed to Services Centres to assess applications for travel documents, permanent residency, citizenships, National Registration Identity Cards (NRICs) and other passes and permits. These will also enable the development of skills in areas of planning and review, operations management and policy administration.
ICA Officers Are Not Just Stationed At The Checkpoints
While we encounter ICA officers most frequently at the checkpoints, ICA officers’ scope of work is much more than that. It includes assessing others to enter Singapore, including permanent residency and citizenship. Our ICA officers maintain the security of our borders to safeguard our home and also protect what we deem as Singapore.
Editor’s note: [Correction] ICA officers are not eligible for the INVEST scheme.
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