A Quick Guide to Immigration Bonds

Did you know that 14% of people in the United States are foreign-born? 1 in 7 US residents is an immigrant. 1 in 8 US residents is born in the US with at least one immigrant parent. 

Dealing with immigration issues can be exhausting and stressful. With immigration laws and political agendas constantly changing, you or your family could end up getting detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

If ICE detained you or your family, you will need to get an immigration bond. Don’t know what an immigration bond is? Keep on reading for your complete guide to understanding immigration bonds.

What Is an Immigration Bond?

If you or your family is arrested for being an illegal citizen, they will be detained. They can also be sentenced to be deported out of the US, depending on what the charges are. The detainee then has to go in front of the immigration court to plead their case.

You likely won’t get a decision immediately as there may be a wait time before you get a hearing date. Instead of staying in detention, you will have the chance to post an immigration bond and get released.

An immigration bond or ICE Form I-352 is an amount of money paid to ICE, which then allows you to be released from detention. The immigration bond is an agreement that you make with ICE confirming that even if you are released, you will attend all immigration court hearings. The amount of the immigration bond is set by an immigration judge, based on several factors.

Once you come back and attend all court hearings, your bond money will be returned. The bond basically acts as insurance to ensure that you follow the immigration laws and attend all court hearings.

What Are the Different Types of Immigration Bonds?

What is helpful to understand are the different types of immigration bonds that you could come across. There are two main types of immigration bonds: delivery bonds and voluntary departure bonds. There are other types of immigration bonds, but these are the two most common.

You could also have an Order of Supervision Bond where you may have to check in with certain authorities on a periodic basis. You may also hear about a Public Safety Bond which ensures that you will reimburse the government if you accept any public assistance.

Delivery Bond

This is the most common type of immigration bond. It’s designed to ensure that you appear in immigration court for your hearings. If you fail to appear, then you lose the money you paid for the immigration bond.

Voluntary Departure Bond

If the courts grant you voluntary departure, then the court will issue this type of immigration bond to make sure that you return to your home country. You will have to follow the conditions for departure as set out in the court order.

The court will provide you with a date by which you have to leave the US. If you fail to leave the US by that date, you will lose the amount of money you paid for the immigration bond.

When Is an Immigration Bond Not Available?

Remember that not everyone is eligible for an immigration bond. You may not be eligible for an immigration bond if the judge decides that you are:

  • A danger to society
  • A flight risk
  • Uncooperative

The judge will look at your history and family ties to determine if you are eligible for an immigration bond. 

Certain crimes can also lead to your not being eligible for an immigration bond including aggravated felonies and “crimes involving moral turpitude.” The latter can include minor crimes like drug possession and disorderly conduct.

Can You Appeal a No Bond or High Bond Amount?

Where there is no bond allowed or the immigration bond amount is too high, you will have the chance to ask a judge for a bond hearing. The first thing you need to do is speak with the judge about scheduling a bond hearing. A bond hearing will be separate from your deportation hearings.

You can also schedule a bond hearing by writing a bond request letter. At the hearing, you will need a sponsor letter. The sponsor must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident, and they confirm how they know you.

You will need evidence showing that you have strong ties to the community. Some documents you can consider include:

  • Proof of family members that are US citizens
  • Letters from people in the community such as employers, neighbors, etc.
  • Tax records
  • Property ownership documents

At the end of the day, you will also need to show that you won’t commit any crimes and will attend all hearings if the courts grant your release. All the evidence needs to support your character and ties to the community.

What Is the Cost of Immigration Bonds?

Immigration bonds can place a large burden on families as they are dealing with the immigration process. The amount for both types of immigration bonds may vary, and they are typically determined by factors such as: 

  • Criminal history
  • Prior immigration issues
  • Ties to the community
  • How much of a flight risk you are
  • Prior history of attending court hearings

There is no upper limit on how high your immigration bond can be. You can get multiple immigration bail bond rates and options. With a full cash collateral immigration bond, you will have to pay a $100 application fee and a 2% premium cost. 

If you can’t provide full cash collateral, you have the option of a 15% premium cost of the total value of the immigration property at Amistad. Without full cash collateral, you can also provide liens on real property as collateral. 

How to Pay an Immigration Bond?

As you can tell, the cost of an immigration bond can be too high for most families. The higher the bond amount, the more difficult it is for families to pay for it. But, paying the immigration bond is necessary.

Once you pay your immigration bond, you will get released. This will allow you to spend time with family, find good counsel, and strategize on the best way forward. It will give you the time to find the evidence needed to bolster your case in front of immigration court.

Cash Bond

If you have the funds, you can simply pay the immigration bond in cash. Once you have attended all the hearings, your money will be refunded back to you.

With this method, there are no fees that you have to worry about. Just remember that you might have to wait a year or so to get the money refunded back to you.

Surety Bond

If you don’t have the funds available, don’t despair. You can work with an immigration bonds agent to pay the bond. Simply contact the bail bonds company and they can pay the immigration bond for a fee.

The fee charged by an immigration bail bonds agent can range from 10 to 15%. This fee is non-refundable. 

Immigration Bond Tips

Finding the right immigration bonds agent can be challenging. There are a lot of companies out there, and it can be confusing. So in this immigration bond guide, we have taken the time to set out some tips for you.

Find Someone You Trust

Yes, it’s a busy and stressful time. But you need to spend some time doing your research. Make sure you understand your obligations and responsibilities.

A good bail bonds agent has the right training to explain immigration bonds to you. They can guide you through the process, so you can feel confident and not completely confused. Contacting a reliable and competent licensed bond agent can make all the difference in your immigration bond experience.

Shop Around For Rates

The fee for immigration bonds ranges from 10 to 15%. Some charge lower than that, but some companies can charge up to 20%. If you are being charged a higher rate, try contacting a couple of other companies to confirm that this is the general industry practice.

No Collateral

Some bail bonds agents will ask for your car’s title as collateral to cover the cost of the immigration bond. This is not normal practice, so you should be wary of those companies. A legitimate bail bonds agent should have sufficient collateral to cover the immigration bond as part of their regular business.  

Make Sure You Go to Immigration Bonds Agent

There are many bail bonds companies that deal with the criminal bonds process. They post bonds for those people that have been arrested for criminal offenses. An immigration bail bond deals with immigration bonds in particular and understands the ICE process.

Get Your Free Consultation for Immigration Bonds

This was your immigration bond guide. After reading this article, you should have all your questions about immigration bonds answered, and the process for getting immigration bonds explained. 

If you are looking for an immigration bond, request a free confidential consultation with a licensed bail agent. With decades of experience, we have the right strategies to help you or your family member get released as soon as possible. We are available 24/7 to help you make bail.