directly. Applications for relief from removal, and other
applications requested by the
must be filed directly with the immigration court.
where you can obtain automated information or speak with a
live representative during office hours
Do Immigration Bonds Work?
your family member or friend has been detained by
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),
not assume that they will be departed and do not lose hope.
You may be entitled to an Immigration
Bond. Getting someone released from an immigration detention
facility is a complicated matter.
Nevertheless, If your loved one is in ICE detention there is
a process to possibly obtaining release
custody until there case is heard. The information in this
website is meant to help provide
with the knowledge required to navigate the immigration
system. Of course, because
everyone's cases vary it is advisable to discuss your
situation with an experienced immigration
attorney to make the best of the situation.
TYPES OF IMMIGRATION BONDS:
Delivery Bond: This bond is the insurance to the
government that the individual will
appear for their court hearings. Before this bond can be
posted an individual will be
issued a notice of Custody Conditions and a Warrant of
Arrest. Not everyone will be
able to post a delivery bond. If the individual does not
appear in court the bond will
Voluntary Departure Bond: The individual agrees to leave
the country at their own
expense within a certain time period.
If they do not leave the country the bond will be
forfeited and more legal problems
WILL SET BOND: If while being detained you are eligible for
bond, the government
set the bond amount. You may post this bond in cash and
after all court hearings have
attended by the individual, the amount will be returned to
you. If however, you can
afford the entire amount of the bond, an immigration
bondsman can pay this amount
you after you pay the bondsman a nonrefundable fee. If the
individual attends all
court hearings and the case is disposed, you will not owe
any further amount. However,
the individual fails to go to court, for any reason, you
will owe the entire amount of the
to the immigration bondsman.
HEARING: There are two factors that will affect the judges
decision when deciding bond:
Is the individual a flight risk or is it likely that the
individual will not attend all
of his court dates.
Is the individual a
threat to the community.
Any other factors, such as a removable offense, that
would make the individual
ineligible for an immigration bond.
the bond hearing it is important to present as much evidence
as possible about the
individual's life that would determine him to be a
responsible person. These would
Apartment lease or mortgage-to show you have somewhere
Letters from employers and pay subs-indicating you have
Marriage Certificate-to indicate you have family to care
for (only if your
spouse is a US citizen or lawful resident)
Children's Birth Certificates-Only if children are US
citizens or legal resident
Relatives in Court-to show the judge that you have
family that cares about you.
Letters of Support-Get notarized letters from family,
friends, neighbors, coworkers
and clergy stating that you are a good and reliable
School Records-including GED
Tax Records-The judge expects that people who have lived
and worked in the United
States have paid their taxes.
Past Criminal History-to show the judge that you
appeared in court as required on past case.
Attendance in Rehabilitation Programs-to show the judge
that you are trying to fix your
drug, alcohol or anger problems.
NOTICE TO APPEAR (NTA):
is the document that is given to you and the court by the
United States government that explains
you should be removed from the United States. This starts
the case against you and must be
given to you by ICE within 72 hours of detention. The first
part of the NTA is called "ALLEGATIONS"
contains your name, the country you are from, and the date
and manner by which you entered
United States. This gives the factual basis or reason for
your removal. The "CHARGES",
which is the second part of the document, lists the sections
of law under which you may be
removed. Look at this document carefully and be sure that it
contains accurate information such,
your correct name, date you entered the United States and
does it correctly state any criminal
convictions. A mistake in any of these facts could make a
difference being held in detention and
receiving a bond.
DETERMINING WHETHER YOU ARE REMOVABLE:
Deport ability V. Inadmissibility:
Non-citizens can be removed from the United States under the
Immigration and Nationality
if they violate the statutory grounds of either
"inadmissibility" or "deport ability".
"Inadmissibility" grounds apply to those who make an initial
application to enter the United
States lawfully, travel abroad as a lawful permanent
resident and get stopped by immigration on trying
reenter the country or are in the United States and make an
application for legal status. The
"deportability" grounds apply to people who have been
legally admitted into the US as a lawful
permanent resident or visitor.
CRIMINAL GROUNDS OF DEPORTABILITY
you have been convicted of any of the following crimes, you
may be subject to removal on
deportability grounds :
An aggravated felony
A crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) committed
within five years of the
date of your admission and for which a sentence of one
year or longer may be imposed
Two "CIMY"s at any time after your admission
A controlled substance offense (other than single
offense of possession for one's
personal use of 30 grams or less of marijuana)
Certain firearms offenses
A domestic violence crime including violation of an
order of protection
CRIMINAL GROUNDS OF INADMISSIBILITY
you entered the US without inspection (EWD and / or admitted
to or were convicted of
of the following crimes, you may be subject to removal on
A controlled substance offense
Moral turpitude (CIMT) subject to the petty offense
There are two exceptions to the above crimes:
Petty Offense Exception: The CIMT exception applies and
bars removability, if your maximum
penalty for the crime does not exceed one year in prison
and you were not sentenced to a term
of imprisonment of more that 6 months.
Crime committed Under 18 Years of Age. This exception
applies to those who
committed a crime of CIMT while under 18 years of age
and that crime was more than
5 years before your application for admission.
CRIME INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE (CIMT): Defined as crimes
which are "inherently base,
vile, or depraved, and contrary to the accepted rules of
morality and the duties owed between persons
to society in general". These include but not limited to,
aggravated assault, kidnapping, arson,
sexual abuse (even if it did not involve a minor), malicious
destruction of property, bribery forgery,
criminal possession of stolen property, theft, or fraud
(such as welfare fraud).
RELIEF FROM REMOVAL: After the court has determined that you
are removable, you may
eligible for relief from removal. There are two types of
Cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents;
You may apply for cancellation
of removal if you meet the following criteria:
You lived in the United States continuously for 7
years after you were admitted and
before being served the NTA or committed an offense
that is subject to removal on
Have been a legal permanent resident for 5 years
Have not been convicted of an aggravated felony
You have not been granted cancellation of removal or
waiver under 212(c) of the
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
You are not a terrorist, crewman, or exchange
After you satisfy these requirements, if the
positive factors in your life outweigh the negative,
may decide to grant relief.
(c) WAIVER Congress eliminated this form of relief in 1996.
It was replaced with cancellation of
removal. However, you may still qualify for 2I2(c) Waiver if
you meet the following conditions:
You are a legal permanent resident and you pled guilty
to a crime (except a firearms offense)
before April 24,1996.
You have lived in the US for 7 years
The negative factor in your life are outweighed by the
However, you may be ineligible for this relief if you
served 5 years or more in prison for one
or more aggravated felony convictions.
CANCELATION OF REMOVAL FOR NON-LPR'S: You may be eligible
for cancellation of
removal if you are an LPR but a refugee, asylee or an
unauthorized and undocumented non-citizen
you meet the following criteria:
You have had physical presence in the US continuously
for at least 10 years
The time that is counted toward the 10 years stops when
either you commit a removable offense
or ICE serves you the NTA when you have committed a
criminal offense which makes you
removable under the Immigration and Nationality Act
(To explain further, if the government serves an NTA on
you or you commit a removable offense under INA212(a)(2)
within 10 years or your arrival in the US you will be
ineligible for this form of cancellation).
You must be able to show that you have never been absent
from the US for more than 90 days
on one trip or more than 180 days in combined trips.
You must be able to show you were a person of good moral
character during the 10
years prior to your application.
You must also have a US citizen or LPR spouse, child or
parent and that your departure
from the US would cause family members extreme unusual
ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS: You may be able to adjust your status
to a LPR. This is used in
certain, very limited circumstances. This can work even if
you are already a LPR. To adjust your
status, you will need a relative or employer to petition for
a visa on your behalf. The spouse or
child of a USC or the parents of a USC over 2l years old are
immediately eligible for a visa and
subject to waiting periods. Otherwise, the Visa's are given
according to certain preferences based
the family relationship. The preference categories are as
First, Single (+21) child of USC
Spouse, unmarried (-21) child of LPR
B. Unmarried child (+21) of LPR
Married child of USC
Note; Only LPR's that entered with a visa and who overstayed
or certain Cuban parolees
eligible for this form of relief. Otherwise, there is no way
for a person who entered illegally to
adjust their status (except for those who had an I-130 or
I-140 visa petitioned on their behalf that
was filed before
April 30, 2001.)
2I2(h) WAIVER: You may be eligible for a waiver pursuant to
Section 212(h)of the INA.
applies to criminal convictions of CIMT or Prostitution or
if you have a single marijuana
possession involving less than 30 grams of marijuana. To be
eligible for a waiver pursuant to
Section 2I2(h) of the INA, you must meet the following
You have not been convicted of a drug offense other than
a one time simple possession
of 30gms of marijuana.
If your crime was prostitution and it was committed more
than l5 years ago, you will
need to show that you have been rehabilitated.
For crimes committed less than 15 years ago and did not
involve prostitution, you will
need to show that you have a spouse, parent, son, or
daughter who is a US citizen or
in the country legally and denial of your admission
would result in extreme hardship to
your qualifying relative.
You are a legal permanent resident and you have lived in
the US for 7 years before your
immigration case started.
You have not been convicted of a aggravated felony.
OTHER FORMS OF RELIEF such as Asylum, Withholding,
Convention Against Torture (CAT)
Cuban Refugee and Nicaraguan Adjustment, Central American
Relief, Temporary Protected
Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure may also apply
to some individuals.
DETERMINING WHETHER YOU MEET THE STANDARDS FOR RELIEF:
Application: When the judge decides you are eligible to
apply for relief, he will give you
the proper form and allow you some time to get your
application completed. There may
be a fee but you may ask for a fee waiver by explaining
your need. Be sure and take
care in filling out your application and be completely
honest with your answers. You will
be required to swear to it's contents. If you are not
truthful, the judge may deny your
application on those grounds. After submission of your
application, the judge will
grant you time to prepare for your case.
THE INDIVIDUAL HEARING: This hearing is your opportunity
to submit your
evidence proving that you meet the requirements for
relief. The type of evidence
you need to present will depend on the type of relief
you are seeking.
FACTORS THAT THE JUDGE CONSIDERS: The judge will weigh the
positive and negative
factors about your life. Some of the positive factors to be
Family ties within the US: Documents such as birth
certificates, marriage licenses,
US passports or naturalization certificates, copies of
family green cards, family
photos and letters from family members.
Long Term Residence in the US: Leases or mortgages,
telephone, cable and electric
Evidence of Hardship to Family Members: Records of
family members who depend on you
such as medical, psychiatric or educational
disabilities. Testimony or letter from a spouse showing
that you provide financial and emotional support for
Evidence that you have a medical condition or disability
such as medical or educational
Reports about your country such as human rights and
economic conditions. These
document may be in the form of US State Department
reports, and or newspaper
and magazine articles discussion the status of your home
Service in the United States Armed Forces such as
discharge papers commendations,
and VA benefit statements.
History of Employment: Letters from your employer, pay
stubs and W2 forms.
Ownership of Property in the US such as mortgages and
bank statements indicating
Tax History: Print out of tax filing from the IRS and
copies of as many years back
as you can of tax statements filed.
Proof of Rehabilitation: Letters from counselors,
therapist or your sponsor and
certificates of attendance and completion of drug or
alcohol rehab programs.
Community Service information such as letters from
churches, clergy, sports
groups indicating your participation.
Any Other Information that may exist of your good moral
NEGATIVE FACTORS: This includes your criminal history
unemployment history lack of
payment of taxes, violations of immigration laws or any
evidence of bad character.
TESTIMONY You must supply details regarding your
application. Your life will be
open book. You will need to include details about work
history medical history alcohol and drug
abuse, rehabilitation, education, family and marital history
as well as detail about your arrival in the
If you are asking for relief in the case of asylum,
withholding or CAI, you must supply details
about the events of abuse or torture.
JUDGE CANNOT RECONSIDER YOUR GUILT: The immigration judge
has no authority to
reconsider your guilt. If you plead guilty to a crime it is
better to take responsibility for the crime
show the judge that you will not commit another crime in the
future. It is important to show
mitigating circumstances such as drug use and that you have
been rehabilitated since the crime, or that
did something that you realized was a stupid thing and that
you regret it.
TESTIMONY OF OTHERS: Witnesses may be called to testify of
your good moral character, the asset
are to your community, your good family relations and the
importance of your being present
your family and that they know about your convictions and
why they do not want you to be
deported. However, do not call any family or friends that
are not in the US legally because they
may be detained for removal proceedings.
JUDGE'S DECISION: The judges decision will be issued either
in writing or oral immediately
after the hearing, at a later date, or by mail to you and or
your attorney. If you win, you will declare the
judgment final, however, if you lose, you will tell the
judge that you reserve the right to appeal the
VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE: If the judge issues a removal order you
will not be able to reenter
United States for a certain period of time. You may want to
consider a voluntary departure.
advantage is that you will not have a removal order. This is
important if you someday hope
reenter the US. However if you were in the country more than
180 days, voluntary departure
not help you reenter the United States. You also can not get
voluntary departure if you
been convicted of an aggravated felony or have a prior
removal order. In order to get a
voluntary departure you must show the judge that:
You have a valid travel document
The means to buy a one-way open ticket to your home
granted a voluntary departure the judge will give you a
certain amount of time to depart the US,
usually 30 days if you are in detention. If you request VD
prior to the end of the immigration
proceedings the judge can give you a maximum of 120 days to
depart. If you make your request
the end of the proceedings you can get a maximum of 60 days
to leave. Also, you must show
judge that you have been present in the US one year before
the NTA was filed and that you have
been convicted of any crimes for five years and have been a
person of good moral character.
FAILURE TO DEPART AFTER GRANTED VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE: If you
do not depart as
agreed, the VD becomes a deportation order and if you are
apprehended by ice you will not be able
see a judge. You will be deported.
UNLAWFUL PRESENCE: If you entered the US unlawfully since
April I, 1997 or have overstayed
visa, you may begin to accrue "unlawful presence". After 180
days of unlawful presence you may
receive a three year bar from admission to the US and if you
accumulate one year of unlawful presence
will receive a 10 year bar from the United States. This
unlawful presence does not begin to
accumulate until you turn 18 years of age.
ORDER CUSTODY AND RELEASE FROM INDEFINITE DETENTION: The
limited period of time to physically remove after the order
of removal is issued. The general
is 6 months, however if ICE fails to remove you, you may be
released on parole. If so you
be required to report to ICE periodically. When the
circumstances change and ICE is ready to
remove you, you will be sent a "bag and baggage" order
requiring you to report to ice on a specific date.
you are still in ICE custody 90 days after your final order
of deportation, a review will be done
your DO (deportation officer). During this custody review
your DO will determine how likely
is that ICE will be able to remove you within a reasonable
length of time. If it seems unlikely that
will be able to remove you in a reasonable amount of time
ICE should release you. However,
people are actually released after this 90 days.
After 180 days, there will be a review done by the Detention
Unit at ICE in Washington DC.
ICE determines that there is not a likely removal within a
reasonable period of time, you may be
released on parole. There are several factors that are
considered for release on parole. They are
IS THE COUNTRY TO WHICH YOU ARE TO BE REMOVED LIKELY TO
YOUR REMOVAL IN THE NEAR FUTURE. If the delay is because
conditions in your country it is unlikely you will be
released. However, if the delay is
due to war or if it does not have a repatriation
agreement with the US (such a/Cuba), you
will have a good argument for release.
YOU HAVE COOPERATED WITH THE REMOVAL PROCESS: If you
cooperate with your DO (Deportation Officer) by not
providing him with necessary
information, you may be denied parole. Also, if the DO
reports that you have in someway,
interfered with your removal, you may be denied parole.
You will need to provide to your
DO all requested information or if you do not have all
these documents, then you will
have to provide sufficient information for your DO to
provide to your country's consulate so
that a travel document can be issued. Common documents
would be birth certificate, passport,
or other identity documents from your country. Failure
to provide this information may
be considered a failure to cooperate.
FLIGHT RISK: Your will need to provide your DO with an
address where you will
reside after your release and/or a job that you will
report to after your release. If you
do not have this information, it may be determined that
you are a flight risk or unlikely to
report as required.
DANGER TO THE COMMUNITY: You will need to prove that you
are not a risk to
your community or anyone else. You can do this by
arguing that your crimes were not
crimes of violence or by providing the evidence that you
have been rehabilitated.
NOTE; The federal government can refuse to release you if
they find special circumstances
exist such as you have a highly contagious disease, you are
mentally ill, or your release would have
serious adverse foreign policy consequences or security or
TO REENTRY: After an individual has been removed from the US,
his reentry is barred for a
certain period of time, depending on the circumstances of
Removed on inadmissibility grounds (except
controlled substance offense)
Removed on deportation grounds (except
Excluded or deported under old law
Two orders of removal
Failure to attend removal proceedings
Removed for an aggravated felony or controlled
you reenter the US illegally after you have been removed and
you are re detained, you may be subject
prosecution. You could be sentenced to as much as 20 years