How to Join NIA (National Investigation Agency)

If you are choosing to How to join NIA then read this article carefully. This article will give you all the detailed information about the salary, roles and responsibilities, job opportunities, NIA syllabus and entrance exam, ways to join NIA, and eligibility criteria including chest, height, and vision. 

Choosing NIA as a career is of great opportunity to have a prestigious life. The name and fame that an NIA officer gets are beyond imagination. The respect of an NIA officer is appreciating and worthy. It would be great if you become one of the NIA Officer.

What is NIA

National Investigation Agency is the one that deals the counter-terrorist cases. They arrest without permission at the investigation. The Agency was formed after the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack place. The reason behind this was to look into the terrorist attack in the Indian states. 

This comes within the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. The agency not only deals the terrorist but also narcotics, human trafficking, cyber-terrorism, hijacking, organized crime, and many more. 

The central Government has given rights to some of the courts to go through the trials of NIA cases. The Chief Justice of the High Court has given such work to do and implement it properly. The Main court that is the Supreme Court of India can also have such powers or rights to get the trial work done properly.

Divisions of NIA

The 3 divisions of NIA are listed below.

  1. Administrative division
  2. Policy research and Coordination division.
  3. Investigation division 

Full form of NIA

National Investigation Agency is abbreviated as NIA. It is a central agency that acts as a counter-terrorism force. It comes under the Home Ministry to fight against terrorism. National Investigation agency helps in maintaining the internal security of the country.

NIA Headquarters

NIA has its main headquarters in New Delhi, India.

Also, NIA has its branches in the following cities. The cities are listed below.

  • Hyderabad
  • Lucknow
  • Kolkata
  • Guwāhāti
  • Jammu
  • Mumbai
  • Kochi

The candidates after passing SSC CGL or UPSC exam for Sub Inspector Post (SI) can be posted to any of the cities mentioned above. The candidate can also be posted in the headquarters center that is Delhi.

How to Join NIA

To join the NIA Department you must pass CGL Entrance Exam (Combined Graduate Level) conducted by Staff Selection Commission (SSC). You have to pass all 4 tiers of the CGL exam. Then, you go through a medical or physical test and then selected for the interview process. After completing the training period you can join NIA.

How to Join NIA

How to Join NIA All Ways Listed

There are various ways to get in into the NIA post. Some of the ways are mentioned here to get great opportunities for a good future.

  • If you are from any law enforcement agency then you can choose to take a transfer and get enrolled in the NIA job.
  • In case, you are not from law agency then you can choose either of the options UPSC or SSC CGL. Through SSC CGL you get the post of Sub-Inspector in NIA.
  • On the other hand you can choose UPSC exam to crack the prelims, mains and interview to get a rank as IRS or IPS and get transfer to NIA.

Eligibility Criteria

To become an NIA Officer you need to possess some criteria. The eligibility criteria to become an NIA Officer are as follows.


Nationality should be either one of the following.

A. The candidate should be a citizen of India

  • Subject of Nepal
  • Subject of Bhutan

B. A Tibetan Refugee who settled in India permanently before January 1st,1962

C. An immigrant from any of the countries like Buma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Uganda, Zambia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Tanzania, East African countries of Kenya, Zaire.

Age Limit 

To join NIA the candidate should be at least 18 years of age. The maximum age limit is of 30 years as of 1 st January 2021.

The age relaxation as per the category is listed below.

CategoriesRelaxationAge Limit
SC/ST5 years35 years
PwD (General)10 years45 years
PwD    (SC/ST)15 years50 years
Ex-Servicemen3 years33 years
Defense personnel disabled during the war with foreign countries3 years33 years
Defense personnel disabled during the war with foreign countries (SC/ST)8 years38 years

NIA Qualification

To get enroll in NIA you need to have a graduation or Bachelor’s Degree in any stream from a recognized university.

You need to follow the following steps to join the NIA after HSC.

After 12th

If you are aspiring to join NIA after the 12th then it is saddened to inform you that you can’t join NIA after the 12th. To join NIA you need to have a graduation or bachelor’s degree from any authorized university. 

After Engineering

If the candidate is dreaming to be an NIA officer after engineering then yes you can do the same. To be an NIA officer you need to have a Bachelor’s degree from any discipline from a recognized university. 

To be an NIA aspirant you can either choose SSC CGL exams or UPSC exams. 

Physical Eligibility

The physical eligibility for a candidate to join NIA – Height, Chest & Insight is listed below for both men & women.

Height of the candidates

CategoriesHeights in cm
SC/ST5 cm relaxation

Chest of the Candidates

CategoriesChest in cm
FemaleNot required
Male76 cm, expansion

Insight of the Candidates

Distant VisionNear Vision
6/6 and 6/9 in either of the eye0.6 and 0.8 in either of the eye

Entrance Exam to Join NIA

There are 2 ways to join NIA. You can choose anyway and crack that particular Entrance Exam. Let us see the detail about both the entrance exams.

2 Ways To Join NIA

The direct way to join NIA is to crack the SSC CGL entrance exam. The entrance exam may be very hard and is in great competition among the youth. You need to work hard and give a great effort to crack this exam. 

The other way to join NIA is through the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), IPS (Indian Police Service), and many more.

1. CGL( Combined Graduate Level) Entrance exam is held by the SSC(Staff Selection Commission).

2. UPSC Exam – Civil Service Exam (CSE) conducted by Union Public Service Commission.

1. SSC CGL Exam

To join NIA you must pass the SSC CGL exam. Want to know what actually SSC CGL exam is? Let us have a look.

What is SSC CGL

SSC CGL national level competitive exam. This entrance exam conducted by SSC stands for staff selection commission. This authorized body is group B and Group C post in the income tax department. Every year approximately 30 lakh apply for this exam.

SSC CGL exam takes place in four stages. Each stage of the exam is called a tier. The first two tiers of the exam are called combined graduate level (CGL). CGS is an online exam. Connect two modes of the exam is offline.

How to fill SSC CGL Application Form

Step 1: Visit the official

Step 2: Click on new user

Step 3: Fill the complete form

Step 4: Log in with the generated registration number at the time of registration and a set password

Step 5: Fill in all the necessary details

Step 6: Upload photo and signature

Step 7: Check the complete form and click on submit button.

The application fee for the form is Rs.100/-

The four tires of the SSC CGL exam areas are listed below.

  • Tier 1
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 3
  • Tier 4

Tier 1 

Tier 1 consists of multiple-choice questions.


This paper consists mainly of reasoning, general awareness, and quantitative aptitude. Each paper is of 100 marks and the duration is 2 hours. General reasoning and general awareness together are for hundred marks and 2 hours.

Candidates who qualify for Tier 1 are selected for Tier 2.

Tier 2 

Tier 2 consists of multiple-choice questions.


Tier 2 the following subjects.

General studies: General studies are of 200 marks and 2 hours

English: English is of 100 marks and for 2 hours 20 minutes

Quantitative Aptitude: Quantitative aptitude is for 200 marks and 4 hours

Language paper: FIFA is for 100 marks and 2 hours 40 minutes

Communication Skills & Writing: Communication skills are for 200 marks and 2 hours 20 minutes

Tier 3 

It consists of descriptive type paper which is a pen-paper test.

Tier 4 

Tier 4 is a skill test/common proficiency test.

Medical Test

It is a compulsion that before the interview process you must go through the medical test and qualify the same. Without qualifying for this medical test you are not qualified for the interview process.

Physical Test

Sometimes, it is a possibility the candidate can go through a physical test instead of a medical test and then qualified for a round of an interview. The physical test takes place in different ways. It can include running, cycling, or walking to be completed within a time limit.

Interview Process

After qualifying for the Medical Test the candidate is eligible for the interview process which is a personality test. In the interview process, the personal traits and mental stability of the candidate are tested.

2. UPSC Exam

UPSC that is Union Public Service Commission also conducts NIA exams.  

What is UPSC

UPSC is the All India Service Examination. UPSC Examination is conducted in three stages namely- Preliminary Exam( CSAT Test) comprising of two papers which are objective type, Mains Exam which includes 9 papers which are subjective type. After qualifying the two phases you are eligible for the Interview Process. You can read more information about UPSC here UPSC exam details.

UPSC Exam Overview

ExamUPSC -CSE Exam
Authorized BodyUnion Public Service Commission
Exam Stages1. Preliminary
2. Mains
3. Interview
Eligibility CriteriaNationality – Indian

Age Limit – Between 21 to 32 years ( General Category)
Age limit for OBC – 35 Years
Age limit for ST/ST – 37 Years

Educational Qualification
The candidate must have completed graduation in any field.
Number of Attempts 6 Attempts (General Category)
For OBC – 9
ST/SC – No limit

The process for UPSC is as follows.

  • Preliminary exam
  • Mains exam
  • Interview process

1. Preliminary exam

The preliminary exam has 2 papers that are conducted. Each paper has 200 marks a total of 400 marks. The question paper is in two languages namely English and Hindi. The duration of the paper is 2 hours each paper. This examination carries a negative marking of the one-third penalty. That is for each wrong answer there is a negative marking of 0.33 marks. This paper has objective-type questions which comprise multiple-choice questions.

Preliminary Exam Details

PaperTypeNumber of
Paper 1Objective1002000.332 hours
Paper 2Objective802000.332 hours

Syllabus For Prelliminary Exam

The syllabus for both the papers of the Preliminary exam is listed below.

Paper 1Indian History
General Science
Indian Politics
Current Events
General Issues
Indian Geography
World Geography
Social Development
Economic Development
Paper 2Communicational Skills
Intrapersonal Skills
English Skills
English Comprehension
Language skill that is chosen by the candidate
Decision-making skills
Problem-solving ability
Mental Ability
Basic Numeracy

2. Mains exam

After qualifying for the preliminary exam the candidates are eligible for the second round that is the mains exam. Generally, Mains Exams are conducted in the month of January. After the mains exam, the candidate will be liable for the process of the interview. Mains Exam has the descriptive type of questions.

Mains Exam Details

Paper SyllabusMarksDuration
Essay Essay on any topic2503 hours
General studies 1 Indian Heritage, Culture,
2503 hours
General studies 2 Constitution, Governance,
Social Justice
2503 hours
General studies 3 Technology, Environment,
Disaster Management
2503 hours
General studies 4 Ethics, Integrity,
and Aptitude
2503 hours
Optional subject 1 Any2503 hours
Optional subject 2 Any2503 hours
Paper 1 Indian Language
(Anyone of the language)
3003 hours
Paper 2 English language3003 hours

3. Interview

After cracking the Mains Exam you are qualified for the Interview Process. During the interview process your Subject Knowledge, Personal Skills, as well as Mental Ability, is tested. After cracking the final round of interviews a candidate is qualified to become an NIA officer. He is given training and then posted according to the requirements.

You can easily join NIA after cracking the UPSC exam. But at the same time, there should vacancy in the NIA Department. Then only you can join. UPSC is the toughest national exam in India. It is not an easy task to crack this exam. Many candidates choose the SSC SGL exam over UPSC to join NIA.

Also, Read

Job Profile

The job of the NIA is not fixed. It depends on the case how much time needs to solve each case. You may work day and night to get the lead completed. If you are disciplined and passionate then only you can be an NIA officer. The main job profile in the NIA department is that of Sub Inspectors (SI) in the NIA Department.

Some of the Job profiles in the department of the NIA officer are listed below.

Clerical Work

The role of such officers is to do clerical duties such as interrogating the witness, criminal custody, and looking into the warrants.

Assist Senior Officials

They assist and support the senior officials to solve the case by finding out the leads of the case by investigation.

Assits Raids

To take part in various raids and assist the Senior Officer. These raids generally take place to catch the wanted criminals. Thus, sometimes the job of SI can become dangerous in nature.

Coordinate With Other Organozations

At times the SI also has to deal with other organizations and get involved in the cases like Drugs Racket, Mafia World, Terrorist Connections.

Analyze Data

SI also plays a vital role in analyzing the data and various source which is confidential. This analysis is done to predict if there is any threat in the future.

Role & Responsibilities of NIA Officer

The various role & responsibilities of an NIA officer is as listed below.

  • The role of the NIA is to investigate terrorism, narcotics, human trafficking, hijacking, violations of the WMD act, and organized crime.
  • They do not have to take any approval from the state in such cases.
  • They collect all the information regarding the case and interrogate the witness to solve the case.


Generally, the salary range of an NIA officer is approximately between Rs.34,900 to Rs. 1,12,000

The salary of an NIA Officer is as listed below.

GradeSalary in INR
Overall payment9,300 – 34,900
Grade PaymentRs. 4,200
Initial PaymentRs. 34,900
Total PaymentRs. 13,500
Payment for Z Grade cities of sub-inspectorRs. 37,664
Payment for Y Grade cities of sub-inspectorRs. 39,492
Payment for X Grade cities of sub-inspectorRs. 43,166

Allowances & Benefits

The various allowances and benefits that an NIA Officer gets are listed below.

  • House Rent Allowance (If the candidate is not allotted a Government Quarter)
  • Mobile Bill (Limited to some extent)
  • Transport Allowance
  • Dearness Allowance


The rules keep on changing for the promotion either by conducting department or internal exam. To appear in such exams you need to follow some eligibility criteria. 

Facts About NIA

The various facts that you should know about NIA are listed below.

  • NIA was set up in 2008 by the Indian Government.
  • No permission is required to conduct an investigation related to terrorism in the state.
  • They can conduct investigations both within India and abroad.
  • Indian Citizens have to act according to NIA purview.
  • It has more power than CBI.
  • NIA maintains the integrity, sovereignty, and security of the country.

Difference Between NIA & CBI 

The full form of NIA is National Investigation Agency.The full form of CBI is the Central Bureau of Investigation.
They investigate counter-terrorism like narcotics, human trafficking, hijacking, violations of the WMD act, and organized crime.They investigate the crime like bribery, financial fraud, export-import violation, corruption, kidnapping, and smuggling.
This was established after Mumbai terrorist attack.This is an older agency.


To conclude, this was all about How to join NIA. Hope now the steps to join NIA are clear with this simple step-by-step guide. You have to follow the same process for how to join NIA after 12th. Yet if any more queries you can ask me by commenting in the comment box. I will get back to you with the answer to your question. Let stay connected to grow and achieve the ultimate goal of success.

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    • Hi Rida. Of course, you can join NIA after Btech IT. You can apply for either the SSC CGL exam or the Civil Service exam. Cracking both the exams and the round of interviews will help you to join NIA. You can revert me back for any more queries. Thank you!

    • Hi Mani. Hope you are doing good. Of course you can apply for CGL exam conducted by SSC. Graduation in any field from recognised is an eligibility criteria. Even you can apply for this exam if you are in final year. Thank you!

    • Hi Arsalan,

      You can prepare For the NIA exam in the following ways.
      1. Planning
      You need to preplan about all your schedules, timetable, utilization of time, distribution of all the subjects in advance.
      2. Pre hand preparation
      Early preparation is anytime better than 11th-hour study.
      3. Start your preparation after 12th
      You get ample time to prepare for the examination.
      4. Prepare keynotes and charts
      Always have a habit of preparing the keynotes and charts whenever you feel it will make your work easy in the future.
      5. Time management
      Time management is a very vital strategy to appear for the exam. Not only during the exam but time management for the exam and at the time of preparation is also important. The time given for each subject should be calculated and decided in advance.Time management while solving the mock papers should also look forward.
      6. Solve doubts
      7. Regular Reading
      8. Proper guidance
      9. Paper Solving
      10. Enhance general knowledge
      11. Practice essay writing

      The physical & Medical Test are listed below.
      Medical Test
      It is a compulsion that before the interview process you must go through the medical test and qualify the same. Without qualifying for this medical test you are not qualified for the interview process.
      Physical Test
      Sometimes, it is a possibility the candidate can go through a physical test instead of a medical test and then qualified for a round of an interview. The physical test takes place in different ways. It can include running, cycling, or walking to be completed within a time limit.

    • Hi Sunil,
      Hope you are well. It is so good to hear that there are so patriotic Indians in our nation, who want to do something for the country. All the Best. Wish you all the success to join NIA. Hope this article answers all your queries related to NIA. If anything more you can get back to me. Thank You. Jai Hind!

    • Hi Yashvendra. Hope you are well. Of course, you can apply for NIA. As you are not from a law agency you can choose either of the options UPSC or SSC CGL. Through SSC CGL you get the post of Sub-Inspector in NIA.
      On the other hand, you can choose the UPSC exam to crack the prelims, mains, and interview to get a rank as IRS or IPS and get transfer to NIA. Thank you! For any more related queries get back to me.

  1. I sir I am surya I am most inspiring of NIA officers I dream to wear dress like them and do a good service to our nation

    • This exam is a national-level exam just like UPSC. Tiers are nothing but parts the exam is divided into. Each part has its paper & syllabus. GO through the article carefully to know more about it. I have given a detailed description and syllabus of each tier. Thank you for getting back to us!

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