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Understanding Immigration Bonds

If you have been arrested and detained due to immigration-related reasons, an immigration bond can get you out of jail while you await your scheduled court date. On the other hand, after laying down some conditions, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency may release you without requiring a bond. But when a bond is set, you are required to pay it from your own savings or through an immigration bonds provider.

Immigration Bond Types

Once placed in ICE custody and deemed not to be a threat to national security or public safety, illegal residents of the U.S. may be required to pay one of two key types of immigration bonds.

The delivery bond is set by an immigration judge for illegal immigrants held under ICE custody. There are two requirements for qualifying for this type of bond – the individual has received a warrant for his arrest, and the ICE has issued a notice of custody conditions. A delivery bond is intended to ensure that the detainee will show up during his scheduled hearings. While waiting, the bond also gives him a chance to spend time with his family instead of in a jail cell.

A voluntary departure bond will allow a detainee to exit the U.S. on his own terms and come back for his court dates. This amount is fully refundable by the time the individuals leaves the U.S. permanently; if not, the bond will be forfeited.

Immigration Bond Cost

The ICE or the immigration judge decides on the bond amount upon detention of the illegal immigrant. There are specific factors that will affect the final figure – for instance, family ties in the U.S., criminal record, employment situation, and so forth. The greater the chances of the detainee fleeing before his court hearing, the bigger the bond amount will be. The minimum amount for a delivery bond is about $1,500 and the maximum can reach up to $10,000; a departure bond is typically around $500. Upon paying the bond and appearing at all his court hearings, the individual will be scheduled to receive a full refund of his bond (either to family and friends or to an immigration bonds company), though it might take a year or longer to actually get the cash.

How to Pay for an Immigration Bond

To pay for an immigration bond, a detainee may use cash or surety. A surety bond is when the detainee pays the bond through a bonds agent, who will typically collect 15%-20% of the total bond amount as a charge. A cash bond is when the entire bond amount is settled directly at the ICE by the detainee’s family or friends. Again, once the detainee has appeared at all of his court hearings, the bond will refunded by the government in full.

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