Understanding Immigration Bonds


If you have a family member or friend who is detained for immigration reasons, you have to pay an immigration bond in exchange for the person's release from custody until he is required to appear in court.

The government organization that arrests and detains foreign nationals is the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It can release a person without requiring a bond based on personal recognizance. But if ICE or an immigration judge sets a bond amount, then you have to act on it.

Delivery Bond vs. Voluntary Departure Bond 

Provided the detainee is not deemed a threat to public safety or national security, illegal aliens in ICE custody can choose between two types of bonds: delivery and voluntary departure

Delivery Bond

The ICE or an immigration judge determines whether or not a detained illegal immigrant is eligible for a delivery bond. Aside from an arrest warrant, the detainee should also receive a notice of custody conditions from the ICE before he can be released on a delivery bond. The delivery bond is intended to serve as a guarantee that the detainee will appear at all immigration hearings. You can also learn more about immigration bail bonds by checking out the post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/bail/ .

Voluntary Departure Bond

Sometimes, detainees are offered the option to leave the country voluntarily (which means they pay for their own travel expenses) within a particular time period. If the departure bond is paid in full to ICE, it will be returned as soon as the person exits the country. If the person has not left within the provided period, the Immigration Bond Release will be forfeited.

Cost of Immigration Bonds 

Many factors affect the bond amount the ICE or immigration judge sets for a detainee, including the individual's immigration status and criminal, employment and family backgrounds. The higher the possibility of the person leaving the country, the greater the bond amount will be. The minimum delivery bond is worth $1,500, but this can go up to $10,000 or even more, depending on the detainee's risk factors as assessed by the ICE. The minimum amount for departure bonds in around $500. Take note that it may take up to a year before the government refunds the bond money to the former detainee.

Getting an Immigration Bond

Paying for an immigration bond refund can be done in two ways - through a surety and through cash.  To get a surety bond, the detainee's relatives and friends can seek the help of an agent, who will normally charge 15 to 20% of the total bond money. The money or collateral provided will not be refunded.

A cash bond is paid directly to the ICE and will be returned as soon as the detainee has appeared in all mandatory immigration hearings. It can be paid in cash or by cashier's check, money order or U.S. bonds or notes.