The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) does not have a formal policy regulating the employment of people with epilepsy and considers each applicant on an individual basis as required by Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The pre-employment screening process for border patrol agents and other INS law enforcement positions, including immigration inspector, special agent, criminal investigator and detention/deportation officer, includes a drug test, security background check and a medical examination with a contracted physician in the applicant's area. The medical exam includes a self-certification component and a physical exam.

Applicants must successfully pass the medical exam to obtain employment. Individuals with nocturnal seizures or those who have been seizure-free for several years, with or without medication, are most likely to meet the medical qualifications. The INS does not require a standard seizure-free period. There is a formal appeals process for individuals who wish to challenge medical exam findings.

For more information about the border patrol application process and qualification criteria, call (800) 238-1945.

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