Monrovia, Liberia; 23 November 2022: The Liberia Immigration Services (LIS) conducts placement tests for all its officers to transform the organization into a full-fledged civil institution that fully adheres to human rights principles. .
The regularization of the LIS ranking structure is one of the key security sector reforms included in the first strategic plan of the Immigration Service in post-conflict Liberia, aimed at professionalizing the country’s security institutions.
LIS, formerly known as the Bureau of Immigration & Naturalization (BIN), has a military rank structure that contrasts it with its counterparts in the field that use para-military ranking structures.
“Ranks are very important in the security sector to define hierarchical relationships that define authority, dominance, roles and responsibility, indicated by a special insignia affixed to officers’ uniforms. However, immigration officers in Liberia are not easily identifiable by their symbols,” says Marzu Stubblefield, Associate Officer of UNDP’s Rule of Law Programme.
The envisioned LIS ranking structure was jointly developed by UNMIL and LIS with funding from international donors. UNDP is supporting the implementation of LIS reforms, including the administration of ongoing exams taken by more than a thousand LIS officers.
At present, all LIS personnel are working without assigned ranking against the requirements of the institution. The exam is for both commissioned and non-commissioned officers. Commissioned officers are higher ranking officers appointed by the Commissioner General of the institution and are considered part of the management. Non-commissioned officers are recruited at lower levels and advance through the ranks.
Also, as part of the reform process, the non-commissioned officer rank will be conferred by the Commission General and the commissioned officer rank will be conferred by the President of the Republic of Liberia.
Officers who pass the exam will be able to obtain standard ID cards, proper insignia and other accessories and be promoted if eligible.
The examinations, which started in Grand Cape Mount County on November 21, 2022, will continue in other county headquarters until all officials in the country sit for the examination.