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Most American citizens are unfamiliar with immigration bonds, but they are an important component of the United States legal system. For non-citizens in the United States, either legal or illegal, the immigration bonding process is a critical step toward being allowed to either stay or leave under favorable circumstances.
There is more than one type of immigration bond, but the voluntary departure bond is an ideal option for many non-citizens who have little hope of being able to stay in the United States. Here is more information about voluntary departure bonds and what a detainee can do to help ensure their chances of getting one.
What is a voluntary departure bond?
Detained non-citizens are held in custody by the Department of Homeland Security in special immigrant detainment centers. To leave one of these centers often requires the posting of bond. A voluntary departure bond is an agreement reached between the United States government and the non-citizen; it stipulates that the non-citizen agrees to voluntarily leave the United States within a specified period of time. Under the terms of a voluntary departure bond, the non-citizen generally pays the costs associated with leaving the country, which includes air travel and other expenses.
In addition, the bonded person must pay a specified amount of money that will be repaid once they are out of the United States. The amount of money needed to post bond can be set by the Department of Homeland Security or by an immigration judge. A qualified bail bondsman can provide immigration bonds with a non-refundable fee charged for the service.
What are the advantages of a voluntary departure bond?
The chief reason for obtaining a voluntary departure bond is to leave the United States with a clean immigration record. Non-citizens who are obligated by an immigration judge to leave will have an order of deportation noted on their records, and their future chances of obtaining approval to legally immigrate to the United States are considerably lessened.
Does everyone qualify for a voluntary departure bond?
As with any immigration bond, the issuance of a voluntary departure bond is not guaranteed. There are several factors that can prevent a detainee from obtaining a voluntary departure bond:
Also, it is important to note that the earlier a voluntary departure bond is requested after detainment, the better the chances are for it being granted. The United States government is interested in avoiding time-consuming and costly proceedings, and a non-citizen can use that opportunity to obtain a release.
What are some other options?
While a voluntary departure bond makes good sense for a non-citizen who understands they have a slim chance of staying in the United States legally, a detainee may be granted regular immigration bond by an immigration judge. This bond is similar to that used in the American criminal justice system; the detainee pays an amount to the Department of Homeland Security and is released with the understanding that they are to return for their scheduled court, hearing and other mandatory dates. As with voluntary departure bonds, the money for payment of the bond can often be obtained from a bail bondsman if the detainee needs financing assistance. Keep in mind, however, that the bail bondsman will attempt to recover the funds provided should the detained person fail to appear in court.
For assistance with obtaining voluntary departure and immigration bonds, friends and family of detained non-citizens should contact a bail bondsman qualified to issue these specialized bonds. In addition, a consultation with an immigration law firm such as All Star Bail Bonds can be helpful in protecting the detained person's rights and obtaining the most favorable outcome.Share