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Understanding Immigration Bonds

If you have been arrested and held for immigration purposes, you will need an immigration bond that allows you to be released from detention as you wait for your court date. On the other hand, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency may decide against setting a bond and release you instead, subject to certain conditions. But when it does set a bond, you will have to pay it either with your own money or with the help of an immigration bonds company.

Immigration Bond Types

As soon as they are under ICE custody and considered not a threat to public safety or national security, they may have to pay either of two primary 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. The purpose of a delivery bond is to ensure that the detainee appears at all his hearings. While waiting, the bond also gives him a chance to spend time with his family instead of in a jail cell.

The second type of immigration bond is known as a voluntary departure bond, which allows the detainee to leave the U.S. on their own terms and costs, and return in time for his hearings. Once the person leaves the U.S. for good, the bond will be refunded in full; if the person stays in the U.S., it will be forfeited.

Immigration Bond Cost

Upon detention, the immigration judge or the ICE will set a bail amount. 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 more likely a detainee will flee prior to his court hearing, the higher the bond amount he has to pay. 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. The moment the bond is paid, whether by an immigration bonds company or the detainee’s family and friends, and the illegal immigrant has attended all of his court hearings, the government will return the bond amount in full, although this can take a year or even longer.

How to Pay for an Immigration Bond

Paying for an immigration bond can be done with either cash or surety. A surety bond when the money is paid by an immigrant bonds company, which will often charge a fee equivalent to 15% – 20% of the full bond amount. A cash bond is when the entire bond amount is settled directly at the ICE by the detainee’s family or friends. After all court hearings have been attended by the detainee, this amount will be refunded in full.