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What Is an Immigration Bond?

Immigration bonds are a sum of money put up by a noncitizen who is in immigration detention. This sum will be paid back if the detainee shows up to all of his or her court dates and other scheduled meetings with United States immigration authorities. There are two different types of immigration bonds:

  1. Delivery Bonds. These bonds require an arrest warrant and notice of custody conditions given by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A delivery bond is designed to ensure that you show up to all immigration hearings, but to allow you to spend time with family and/or consult an experienced immigration lawyer in the time leading up to your hearing.
  2. Voluntary Departure Bonds. These bonds allow you to leave the U.S. voluntarily at your own expense by a certain date. This bond can be refunded if paid in full to ICE; however, if you fail to depart within the time allotted, the bond will not be refunded.

Whether or not you are eligible for a bond, and how much the bond will cost, will depend on several factors. Such factors include:

  • Your family and community ties in the United States.
  • Whether you may be considered a public safety or national security risk.
  • How long you have lived at your current address, and in the U.S. altogether.
  • Your work history and future employment.
  • Any previous problems you may have had with ICE or DHS, such as missing court hearings or bail jumping.
  • Your petitions for asylum instead of removal.

The presence or absence of a criminal record is a significant factor in qualifying for bond. If you have never been charged with any criminal offense, this is likely not an issue. If you do have a criminal record, you may still qualify for bond despite being convicted of certain criminal offenses if the crime was committed over five years ago when you were under 18 years of age, or if you were sentenced to six months or less in custody. You might also qualify for a bond if you were convicted but received probation instead of jail time. Talk to your immigration lawyer to see if you qualify for any of these exemptions.

Delivery bonds range from $1,500 to $10,000, while departure bonds can be as low as $500. The higher your flight risk, the higher the bond amount. It takes about a year to get your refund.

After ICE sets the bond amount, anyone in the United States lawfully can pay the bond—a friend, family member, employer, sponsor, or otherwise. Sometimes the amount can be too high for anyone you know to pay, and you may be able to reduce the bond amount. To do so, you can ask for a bond hearing at any time during your detainment. You can ask for a lower bond amount, or even go so far as to ask to be released on your own “recognizance,” meaning you won’t have to pay any money – but, be prepared for the judge to raise your bond amount, or to not allow you to be released on a bond altogether. A good attorney is essential in these situations.

Some Important Things to Remember

Bond hearings are separate from your immigration hearings, and the result of your bond hearing has no ultimate effect on the result of your immigration hearing. The bond hearing is about your eligibility for release pending your removal proceedings; and the immigration hearing is about whether you will be allowed to stay in the United States or not.

At your bond hearing, be sure to provide the complete address at which you intend to stay, and not a P.O. Box. The judge will not lower your bond otherwise.

Even if you can’t lower your bond, you can still fight your case against removal with the help of an immigration attorney. Certain law firms, such as Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP, will even assist you in posting the bond and getting you out of detention, while preparing a deportation defense for you.

After Paying a Bond

Once the bond is paid, you must attend all your immigration hearings. Even if, thanks to a delivery bond, you are allowed to leave the detention center before your case is over, your case will continue. Using the address you give, the court will mail you a letter informing you of the time, date, and location of your next hearing. Should you move to a new home or apartment, be sure to inform the Immigration Court and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of your new address so that you can still receive any papers they send you.

It is essential that you show up at your court dates. Missing a hearing can result in you being ordered removed in your absence. If you are removed from the United States, you may be barred from returning to the United States for five years at minimum; forever at maximum. You might also lose your right to apply for any other removal relief, such as asylum.

If you or a loved one has been arrested or detained for immigration reasons, our skilled lawyers at Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP, may be able to assist. We have helped countless immigrants assert their rights and secure their release from detention. We’ll literally meet you at the airport – or the border – to fight for your rights. Call our law offices at 646-779-2896 to speak to a tough and experienced New York immigration bond attorney today.

 

Immigration News from ILW.COM
FAQs
  • Q: My employer wants to sponsor me to get a green card – can they?

    If you entered the United States without visa and are working here without legal documentation, your employer may be able to help you. But it’s important to understand that just because your employer wants to help doesn’t mean you will be able to obtain a green card. The process for obtaining a green card is complicated and depends on many factors, including your prior history (and your family’s prior history) in the United States. So it’s good that your employer wants to help but the first step is to call us for an interview so we can understand more about your situation.

  • Q: How can I get a work permit?

    A work permit is a common way of referring to an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which is issued by the Immigration Service (which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security). Under U.S. law, you need a work permit or EAD in order to become a legal employee of a U.S. company. Many lawyers will promise to get you a work permit, but you have to be careful about this. The catch is that you can’t simply apply for a work permit or EAD in itself. In order to apply for a work permit you have to make an application for legal status in this country on some other basis. Don’t believe any other lawyer or person who tells you it’s an easy thing to get a work permit. Call us for an interview and we can explain to you how the process and immigration laws in the United States really work.

  • Q:  Can I apply for deferred action now?

    As a result of the injunction issued by the District Court in Texas, applications for the expanded DACA program and DAPA are currently on hold. The Department of Homeland Security is not currently accepting requests for the expansion of DACA, as originally planned. Until further notice, it has suspended the plan to accept requests for DAPA.

  • Q: Does the new executive order or court injunction change Deferred Action protection under existing DACA?

    The Court’s order does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012. This ruling only delays the start of DAPA and the expansion of DACA.

  • Q:  Who can I contact for more help or information?

    It’s important that you speak with a qualified attorney who can explain all the options and issues relating to your immigration status.  Do not take advice about your immigration case from a notary public or an immigration consultant.  The U.S. immigration laws and rules are very complicated and many people take advantage of undocumented immigrants, making promises and charging money without providing honest advice.  Contact only a qualified immigration lawyer for legal advice about your case. If you encounter 'notarios' who offer legal advice without a license, report it.

  • Q; What should I do now?

    You can begin preparing now! Even though DHS is not currently accepting applications under DAPA or the expanded DACA programs, individuals who are potentially eligible for Deferred Action status should begin preparing their applications now. It is very likely that the Texas decision will be overturned and there will probably be a rush of applicants when that happens. Individuals should be ready with their applications and start now by gathering the necessary documentation and seeking good counsel to give themselves the best chance for success and to avoid potential problems.

  • Q: I haven’t seen my mother since I came to the U.S. 10 years ago. Can I apply for a visa so she can join me here?

    If you are a U.S. citizen or have a Green Card, then yes, you can apply for a visa for your family members. But the process can take a long of time, depending on your own status. If you’re a U.S. citizen, it might take 8 months to a year to process the application. The waiting time will be much longer if you’re a Green Card holder. Generally, the sooner you start the process the better, so contact one of our attorneys now to get started or browse our site to learn more about the different types of visas available for family members.

  • Q: My grandma is sick back home – can I go visit her?

    Whether you can travel abroad depends on your immigration status. If you have been granted DACA or if you have a Green Card in hand – you still must ask for advanced permission in order to leave the country. This is called advanced parole. Obtaining advance parole is relatively inexpensive. But it is not without risk, because there is really no way to guarantee that you will be able to return. Your return is ultimately within the discretion of the authorities at the point of your reentry to the U.S.

  • Q: Can our company sponsor an employee to get a green card?

    If one of your employees entered the United States without visa and is working here without legal documentation, you may be able to help this person obtain legal immigration status. This doesn’t necessarily mean they will be able to obtain a green card. The process for obtaining a green card is complicated and depends on many factors, including a person’s prior history (and their family’s prior history) in the United States. It’s definitely helpful to their case if you, as their employer, are willing to help, but the first step is to have the employee call us for an interview so we can understand more about their situation.

  • Q: What is a work permit?

    A work permit is a common way of referring to an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which is issued by the Immigration Service (which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security). Under U.S. law, an employee needs a work permit or EAD in order to become a legal employee of a U.S. company. Many lawyers will promise to get undocumented immigrants work permit. But you have to be careful about this. The catch is that you can’t simply apply for a work permit or EAD in itself. In order to apply for a work permit a person must make an application for legal status in this country on some other basis. So don’t let your employees get gulled into believing that it’s easy to get a work permit by some lawyer or hustler on the street corner. Call us for an interview and so we can explain to your employees how the process and the immigration laws in the United States really work.

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