Border Patrol Agent

Medical Qualification Requirements

The duties of the position involve physical exertion under adverse environmental conditions such as extremes of weather and terrain. Hours of work are often irregular and protracted. The ability to safely and efficiently perform a variety of duties, e.g., while on foot or while using motor vehicles (car, air, marine, etc.) is required.

Physical training and duties employ firearms, weapons and arrest techniques, as well as defensive tactics. Physical conditioning is essential and includes the ability to: run long distances, weight train, swim, sprint, and climb walls, ropes and ladders. The ability to crawl through a simulated culvert, jump ditches, and stand/stoop for prolonged periods, etc. is also required. Trainees are expected to successfully complete a confidence course practice session(s) and a final timed proficiency course. Operating motor vehicles including doing so under simulated emergency responses is also required.

Prior to an offer of employment, tentative selectees must undergo a pre-employment medical examination and be found to be medically qualified to perform the full range of duties of the position safely and efficiently. Any disease or condition that may potentially interfere with the safe and efficient performance of the job’s duties or training may constitute grounds for medical disqualification. Individualized assessments of each person’s medical history, current condition and medical qualifications will be made on a case-by-case basis. Final consideration and medical determination may require additional information and/or testing. If medical information is required beyond that provided by the pre-placement examination, it is provided at the expense of the tentative selectee.


  • Uncorrected distance vision must be equal to or better than 20/100 in each eye.
  • Binocular distance vision must be correctable to 20/20.
  • Depth perception must be equal to or better than 70 seconds of arc.
  • Peripheral vision must be normal.
  • Color vision must be normal. X-Chrome lenses or other artificial devices are not acceptable as a means for correcting color deficiencies.
  • Monocular vision is generally disqualifying.
  • Candidates must be able to safely tolerate rigorous / hazardous law enforcement activities such as physical altercations and exposures to toxins such as pepper sprays, etc.
  • Any disease or condition that interferes with a person’s vision may be considered disqualifying; this will be determined on a case by case basis.
  • Refractive Eye Surgery: Individuals who have undergone refractive surgical procedures (such as LASIK surgery) are considered acceptable provided the individual’s vision meets the above standards post-operatively, and an acceptable recovery time period has occurred. The individual must be free of post-operative complications. For refractive surgery, the results of an additional evaluation by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist will be required to ensure that vision is not impeded due to post-operative complications such as glare and contrast-sensitivity, and the individual must be cleared for rigorous law enforcement training including exposure to pepper spray.


  • Unaided testing in each ear cannot exceed 30dB at the 500, 1000 and 2000Hz frequencies. At 3000 Hz, the deficit should not exceed 40 decibels in either ear.
  • The use of any hearing aid to meet the medical standards is unacceptable.

All medication requirements, including psychotropic medication, will be evaluated to ensure that safe and efficient job performance will not be adversely affected. Each of the following considerations will enter the medical recommendations:

  • Medication(s) and type and dosage requirements
  • Potential drug side effects
  • Drug-drug interactions
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Drug toxicity and any medical complications associated with long-term drug use
  • Drug-environment interactions
  • Drug-food interactions
  • History of patient compliance
  • Medications such as narcotics, sedative hypnotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, or any drug with the potential for addiction, that is taken for extended periods of time (usually beyond 10 days) or is prescribed for a persistent or recurring underlying condition would generally be considered disqualifying.

Anabolic Steroids. Any person currently using anabolic steroids may be disqualified.

Note: Anabolic steroids were legislated as a controlled substance on February 27, 1991, and now require a physician’s prescription.

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