This section explains our current position on prospective freelance interpreters and the opportunity to apply for vacancies.
The central interpreters unit was established in September 2000, as a commitment to further increasing our professionalism towards interpreting services. At present we hold a central database, which is called upon by more than 80 different ports and agency offices across the country when they require an interpreter's services.
The unit's main role is to engage, assess and train interpreters, as well as being responsible for personnel issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
What hours do interpreters work?
The work the Agency provides for interpreters is very much demand-led and can vary considerably.
There is no minimum or maximum requirement in terms of hours. We therefore welcome applications from those who may only be free to interpret at specific times such as evenings or weekends, as well as those who are available at any time. Clearly, as many airports and ports work 24 hours a day, we are in constant need of interpreting services.
What type of work are interpreters required to do?
The majority of interpreting work is face-to-face interpreting. This may be in either arrival interviews or casework interviews where an individual as been booked in advance. In both cases you will be required to provide simultaneous translation. Phone interpreting is also occasionally required.
- Where do you use interpreters? We use interpreters at many regional locations across the United Kingdom, as well as the major ports and airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick and Dover. The public enquiry office in Croydon is also a major user of interpreters.
Why do you use interpreters?
Passengers arrive in the United Kingdom from many different countries. The Agency handled approximately 90 million last year alone. The vast majority of overseas nationals are able to communicate satisfactorily with immigration officers but in some cases, where communication proves impossible, the immigration officer will call on the services of an interpreter.
Are interpreters UK Border Agency employees?
No. All interpreters work on a freelance basis, taking engagements for the Agency in their own time. All interpreters are self-employed and inclusion on our lists does not offer any guarantee as to receiving work or continued inclusion. Therefore there is no formal commitment or contract.
Are there any minimum requirements?
In order to maintain a high standard of interpreters we require interpreters to be a 'full status' member of the National Register of Public Service Interpreting (NRPSI) or already holds a Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (law), or has passed the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) or a metropolitan police assessment in the last 3 years.
Are there any restrictions on who can apply?
You are only eligible to apply if you:
- have been resident in the UK for the last 3 years;
- are a British/EU citizen or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK; and
- speak English and another language fluently.
You must also:
- be a full member of the National Register of Public Services Interpreters (NRPSI); or
- hold a Diploma in Public Services Interpreting (DPSI) (Law) or a letter of Credit in all oral components (Law); or
- have been assessed by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) (formerly the Immigration Appellate Authority); or
- have been assessed by the Metropolitan Police.