When a person is detained by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE for reasons involving immigration, that individual might need an immigration bond to be freed from federal custody. In some instances, the person being held might be set free on their own recognizance, in which case an immigration bond is not necessary.
However, if a judge orders the individual held in detention until such time as a federal bond is posted, someone else must secure this surety instrument in order to have the person being held set free. Unfortunately, this can be a complex and arduous process.
The purpose of a federal immigration bond is to ensure the person currently being held in government custody will appear when so ordered by the court. These are called “surety” because there is are financial and criminal repercussions if a foreign national does not show up in court as ordered.
Before getting an immigration bond, it is very important to determine the person’s eligibility. There are instances when a foreign nation will not be eligible to receive a bond, usually because of an established criminal record.
Figuring out whether or not you are eligible for a bond is a very complicated process. Whether you are eligible or not for bond may also depend on whether you have been admitted to the United States in some lawful status previously or whether you have never been admitted lawfully to the United States. Keep in mind that even though you may not be eligible for bond, you may still be eligible to fight your case and remain in the United States, you will just have to fight your case while detained. You should assume you are eligible for a bond unless you fall into one of the following categories of those who are not eligible for a bond. –Office of Defender Services
In addition, there are more requirements to be eligible for an immigration bond. Persons that are not eligible for a federal surety are ones who have been caught by the authorities trying to enter the United States illegally across the Canadian or Mexican border. However, these individuals can asked to be “paroled”.
Foreign nationals who have previously been convicted on drug or firearm charges are also not eligible, as well as individuals that have previously been convicted of an aggravated felony such as drug trafficking, rape, murder or attempted murder, felony alien smuggling, money laundering, et cetera.
Types of Federal Immigration Bonds
There are two types of bonds for immigration: a delivery bond and a voluntary departure bond. A delivery bond is one that follows a warrant for arrest notice of custody conditions from ICE. The individual is released and can consult with an immigration attorney as well as spend time with family and friends.
A voluntary departure bond is one that is paid upfront and the person agrees to leave the country voluntarily. The money refunded once the individual leaves the country. However, if the person does not leave the country, the money is forfeited.
How to Get a Federal Immigration Bond
There are two ways to get an immigration bond: pay cash or get a surety bond. A cash bond is one that is paid in full to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE via cash, cashier’s check, money order, or US bonds or US notes. The money is refunded once the person makes all his or her appearances in immigration court.
A surety bond is one that is obtained by paying a percentage of the total amount set by ICE. A family member or friend can go to a licensed immigration bond agent and pay a percentage of the bond set by ICE. It is important to get an immigration bond through a reputable bonding agency. There might be collateral involved in the transaction and the bondsman can explain the entire process.
If you have a friend or loved one who is being held for immigration reasons and you need to get a federal immigration bond, contact us immediately. We are based in Sarasota and Manatee, but serve the entire state of Florida. We also have a mobile service available as well as public notary services. If you are unsure as to what type of bond you need, be it a felony or misdemeanor criminal bail bond or an immigration bond, we’ll be happy to discuss your situation to get your loved one free from detention.