If you have a family member or friend detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, you may wonder what comes next.
If the subject was detained within the United States and not at the border, the case is usually held in a U.S. immigration court; and an immigration bond may come into play.
Immigration bonds allow a detainee to be released while the case progresses. The immigration court will consider and grant a bond request if there is no indication that the subject is likely to abscond. Relevant criminal history or pending criminal charges will be considered.
If granted an immigration bond, there is a process by which an alien can gain their release.
What Exactly Are Immigration Bonds?
An immigration bond is a surety bond which is used to secure the release from custody of a person living unlawfully within the United States. The bond is similar to an insurance contract, whereby there are two parties involved – the insurer and insured.
The immigration bond is issued by an insurance company and guarantees that the alien being detained will fulfill the required obligations to the US Department of Homeland Security.
Identified as ICE Form I-352, immigration bonds have four types. They are:
- A Delivery Bond is conditioned upon the delivery of an alien according to terms if and when deportation is ordered.
- A Public Safety Bond ensures that an alien shall not become a public charge, meaning that if they accept public assistance of any kind, the bond will reimburse the funds.
- A Voluntary Departure Bond is conditioned upon the subject’s voluntary departure to his or her own country as stipulated in the court order.
- An Order of Supervision Bond requires the alien to check in with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) whenever required.
4 Important Facts About Immigration Bonds
- Immigration bonds are different than criminal bonds: A defendant may need to be bailed out of jail for the original offense, but then bonded out of immigration custody as well. This is a separate payment. Although only a percentage of the bail amount is required up front, the bond must be paid in full before release.
- Immigration bonds must be posted by a Green Card holder or a United States citizen: The payment of the bond must be through a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen. It is important that a trustworthy person or entity has this responsibility as the detainee will only be able to get the sum back through the same party.
- Immigration bonds can be paid by money order or cashier’s check only: The bail bond office will not accept a check or cash payment. Because the immigration bond may also may take several hours to process, it is best to come properly prepared for payment to save time.
- It may take a while for the bond money to be returned: Once the case is over, you will need to be patient as to the return of your money – it could take month. Once 4 months have passed, if you have not had the money returned, ask your immigration attorney to investigate the situation.
As with all immigration issues, the law surrounding immigration bonds can be complex.
It is generally in your best interest to speak with an immigration attorney who can help you or your loved one navigate through the process.
If you are seeking the advice of a Sarasota area immigration firm, don’t delay. Call Probinsky, Chavez & Cole today.