7 Frequently Asked Questions About Immigration Bonds Answered

Recently, the Department of Homeland said it would no longer deport people just for being undocumented. Instead, new guidelines direct immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) officers to arrest and deport immigrants who threaten national and border security.

This means if you’re an immigrant and arrested, you should consider immigration bonds. An immigration bond can save you and your family a lot of hassle and help you get released faster. It benefits both legal and undocumented immigrants.

Keep reading to get the answers to seven of the most asked questions about immigration bail bonds.

What Is an Immigration Bond?

An immigration bond is the amount of money set by ICE or an immigration judge. The total bond amount must be paid in order for you to be release from the detention center. The money guarantees you will attend your future hearings and follow court orders after ICE releases you.

If you miss even one hearing, you will likely get a deportation order without the ability to give evidence or ask for permission to stay in the US. Additionally, you will lose the bond money. If the judge orders deportation, you need to follow the instructions.

The judge sets the bond amount based on a risk classification assessment. The assessment measures your risk to public safety and risk of flight. It uses information like criminal history and family ties.

Who Is Eligible for a Bond?

Not everyone qualifies for an immigration bond. For example, people who have already lost their immigration case may not be eligible. It also includes those who authorities apprehended at any port of entry. 

People involved in criminal convictions or terrorist activities do not get a bond. However, those who have a criminal conviction on their record but never received a charge by ICE can request a bond hearing.

However, if you are an undocumented immigrant and haven’t done anything to be in mandatory detention, you are eligible for an immigration bond. 

At times, ICE refuses to give bonds to immigrants who they believe aren’t cooperating. If this happens, always speak with your lawyer before proceeding to ask for a bond hearing. 

How to Request and Prepare for a Bond Hearing?

When detained, ICE may give you paperwork with either a bond amount or no bond. You could ask the judge for an immigration bond hearing to ask for a bond if you didn’t receive one. You can also ask the judge to lower the bond amount ICE gave.

It would be best if you asked the judge as soon as possible for a bond hearing. You can do this using the “Notice of Custody Determination” document. If you don’t have the paperwork, you can write a formal letter to the judge asking for the hearing. 

The letter should include:

  • Your name
  • A-number
  • Request to have the hearing as soon as possible

Then you need to send the letter to Immigration Court in Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Judges usually set the bond hearing within the next few days or weeks. If you still need more time to gather evidence, you can tell the judge. You need to say you are waiting for more letters and you want to reschedule the hearing.

Bond hearings and deportation hearings are different. The bond hearing is for the judge to decide where you can get out on bail while the immigration case is processed. Immigration hearings are court procedures that determine the entire case.

But, the same judge handles both proceedings. 

What Is An A-number?

Alien Registration Number (A-Number) is a seven-, eight- or nine-digit number the government assigns to a noncitizen when they create their A-file.

The Preparation 

You must prepare for your bond hearing. Failing to do so adequately could result in further detention. First, you need a sponsor letter. In the letter, the sponsor needs to detail how they know you. They also need to include their legal immigration status. 

Only US citizens or legal permanent residents can write a sponsor letter for a detainee. This makes bond repayment easier. Then, the letter should provide an address where you and your sponsor will live. The address cannot be a P.O. box. The sponsor must provide a piece of mail proving their address. 

Finally, the sponsor must note how they will support you when released and any other details that mention community ties. 

Aside from the sponsor letter, it would also help to gather supporting documents to prove you have strong community ties and won’t commit any crimes. Good examples include:

  • Eligibility for relief from deportation (I-130 approval, evidence of past persecution)
  • Proof that close relatives have legal status
  • Tax records
  • Letters from support from all your family members, friends, or people who know you
  • Letters showing community involvement
  • A personal letter stating why you want to stay in the US
  • Letters showing religious affiliation
  • Family photos
  • Rehabilitation program certificates
  • Social Security records
  • Education or certificates
  • Medical records of you and your close relatives
  • Marriage certificate
  • Proof of debt
  • Proof of insurance
  • Evidence of armed forces service
  • Doctor’s letter showing the negative impact of deportation

Anyone who provides you with a letter of support needs to include a copy of their identification. Always make copies of the original documents too. Having three copies of each document is sufficient.

Lastly, you need to translate and include the “Certificate of Translation” for any documents that aren’t in English.

What Are the Types of Immigration Bonds?

There are mainly three different immigration bonds available. Understanding each option will help you determine which bond choice is best for you and your circumstances. 

You can explore other bond options at your bond hearing with the immigration judge. However, until the judge makes a final decision, you must attend all immigration hearings.

Delivery Bond

The immigration delivery bond is similar to regular bail bonds for criminal acts. The bond works to ensure your appearance at all future court hearings after you get out on bail. It also ensures you follow a deportation order if you receive one.

Voluntary Departure Bond

If you agree to leave the US at your own expense, you may be eligible for a voluntary departure bond. You pay the bond to ICE, and they refund you after you depart for your home country.

Order of Supervision Bond

The Order of Supervision Bond allows you to live and work in the US during your ongoing case. But, you must still follow the conditions set out by your ICE representative. 

What Is the Cost of an Immigration Bond?

Bail bonds for immigration can vary significantly in cost. Things that can affect the price of a bond are:

  • Individual’s citizenship or residency status
  • Criminal history
  • Employment status
  • Family background

Voluntary departure bonds usually start around $500. Delivery bonds typically start around $1,500. But, bonds have no upper limits. So, they can become tens of thousands of dollars depending on your situation. 

How Do You Pay for an Immigration Bond?

If you or someone you know has the total amount in cash, you can pay the bond to ICE. The person who pays the bond is the obligator.

You pay the bond to the nearest DHS office to your residency. For example, Wake County residents pay the bond to the DHS office located in Charlotte, North Carolina. ICE only accepts bank-certified checks, cashier’s checks, bank money orders, and postal money orders. 

However, many people cannot afford bonds. Thus, they hire an immigration bond agent. If you hire a bond company, you only pay a percentage of the bond. This is a bond premium or bond fee. It varies by state and agency. 

Some people need to put up collateral to secure their bond application. Collateral is something of value that the surety agent holds onto. It could be a property, car, bank stock, or other items of value. 

In most cases, ICE will release you the same day you pay the bond, as long as you pay before 3:00 PM. So paying means less time in detention. 

Do You Get the Money Back?

If you paid for the bond out of pocket, you would get the bond back with interest if you cooperate once the court resolves your case. This is still true even if there is a negative outcome.

If you work with a bond agent, the bond premium is not refundable. However, you will receive your collateral back when the court says they resolved your case and cancel the immigration bond with immigration services. 

Get Help With Immigration Bonds

Getting detained by ICE is one of the worst things that can happen to any immigrant. But knowing what to do when facing detention and deportation is essential. For those who need financial assistance to make bail, immigration bonds are there for you. Plus, it’s worth waiting for your immigration proceedings at home rather than in custody.

For assistance, contact us at Amistad Bail Bond. You can schedule a free consultation with a licensed bail agent now.

What are the Two Types of Immigration Bonds?

If you have a loved one detained for immigration reasons, knowing immigration bonds and how they work can help you keep them out of ICE custody.

There are two main types of immigration bonds: delivery bonds and voluntary departure bonds. These are rewarded to detained immigrants who are not considered a threat to national security or public safety.

Delivery Bond

A person detained by ICE can request to be released on a delivery bond. This is the most common type of bond rewarded to detained immigrants.

They must have received an arrest warrant and custody conditions notice from ICE. Then, the court takes into account the severity of the person’s crime and sets a bail amount.

Once the bond is posted, the detainee will be released temporarily on the understanding that they need to show up in court for their scheduled hearing. Being out on bail allows the immigrant to personally see to their affairs, such as finding an immigration lawyer.

Voluntary Departure Bond

A person detained by ICE for illegally residing in the U.S. may voluntarily agree to leave the country, within a specified time frame and at their own expense. In cases like these, the presiding immigration judge will grant the person a voluntary departure bond.

By agreeing to the terms of this bond, an illegal immigrant need not be forcibly removed from the country. However, the bond is in place to guarantee that the detainee will leave the country within the agreed-upon time frame.

If they fail to leave, the bond will be forfeited, and the person will receive more charges. On the other hand, if the immigrant adheres to the terms, the bail amount would be refunded.

Ways to Pay an Immigration Bond

There are two ways to pay for an immigration bond:

Surety Bond

In cases where the detainee’s friends or family cannot afford the bail amount, they can work with an immigration bond agent to get a surety bond. The agent will shoulder the bail amount and charge 15 to 20% for their service.

The detainee’s party needs to pledge certain assets to cover the cost of the bail amount in case the detainee flees and forfeits the bond.

Cash Bond

If the detainee’s friends or family members can pay the bond amount in full directly to ICE, it’s considered a cash bond. If the detainee makes an appearance in all mandatory court hearings, the bond will be refunded.

Why Trust Amistad Bail Bonds

A friend or a family member being detained can be a terrifying and stressful time. Amistad Bail Bonds helps you go through the immigration bond process smoothly.

With our fast and considerate bail bond services, your loved one can be out of ICE’s custody and on their way to finding freedom in no time.

Schedule a free consultation today.

ICE Bonds: Immigration Delivery Bonds Explained

If you or a loved one have been detained by ICE, you know it can be a scary and confusing experience. Knowing your rights when dealing with an ICE agent is important, but unfortunately, that’s not always enough.

Sometimes, a person is granted an immigration bond in order to be bailed out. The two types of immigration bonds are voluntary departure bonds and delivery bonds.

In an ideal situation, you’ll be granted a delivery bond. Let’s get immigration bonds explained before we look at the differences between the two types.

Immigration Bonds

Before discussing the differences between the two types of immigration bonds, you should understand exactly what an immigration bond is.

Simply put, it’s a legally binding agreement made between the detainee and ICE that secures their temporary release under certain conditions. Bail money is paid as collateral, and the detainee is then temporarily set free.

The amount of a detainee’s bail is determined case by case and will depend upon many factors. Those factors will also be taken into consideration by the court when deciding whether or not an individual qualifies for an immigration bond.

Voluntary Departure Bonds Explained

Of the two types of immigration bonds, this one is the least desirable. A voluntary departure bond is a bond where the detainee agrees to leave the country of their own free will within a predetermined period of time.

There are several downsides to this. One obvious one is that an individual often doesn’t want to be deported, so leaving the country is a less than ideal option. On top of that, the detainee is responsible for all of their own travel expenses, which can make this incredibly costly.

Delivery Bonds Explained

A delivery bond differs from voluntary departure bonds in some very important ways. Of the two types, this is the one most people will be vying for.

Whether or not the courts grant a delivery bond will depend upon several factors. For one, the nature and severity of the crime in question will be considered. After the courts come to a decision, a bail amount will be set based on those factors.

Paying the bail amount grants the person’s conditional release. This release is granted with the understanding that the individual must appear in court for their scheduled hearing. If they fail to do this, ICE has the right to detain them, and the bail amount is forfeited.

The main reason a delivery bond is preferable is that it grants the person the ability to seek experienced legal counsel and focus on the details of their case. It also allows them the ability to lead a somewhat normal life for the time being.

Getting a delivery bond requires an arrest warrant and a custody conditions notice from ICE. As stated earlier, the judge will look at the specifics of the case before deciding whether or not to grant it.

What Now?

Now that you’ve had immigration bonds explained to you, you can move forward with a better understanding of how to best manage your or your loved one’s case. Just remember, knowledge is your greatest weapon.

Pros that know what they’re doing is your next greatest weapon. If you’re in need of professional bond services, click here to contact an expert.

What You Need to Bring to an Immigration Bond Hearing

Immigration to the United States is a complex process with many procedures that immigrants must follow. Immigrants who don’t follow these procedures could find themselves in custody and facing detention hearings to decide if they are a threat to national security

That’s why documentation is key so that immigrants can attend these hearings prepared. We’ve put together a list of documents you should bring to an immigration bond hearing. Organize these documents ahead of time and the hearing process will go smoothly.

Immigration Bond Defined

Immigration Bonds are funds held by the federal government during an immigrant’s detention hearings. Immigrants deposit these funds to guarantee that they will appear for all court proceedings to receive legal status to live in the United States.

Immigration bonds are necessary if an immigrant commits a crime or comes to this country illegally. Local law enforcement then takes this immigrant into custody and then transfers them to a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement division (ICE), detention center while their case is investigated.

Immigration Bond Hearing Review

The immigration bond hearing is the formal process where a defendant appears before a judge and requests their release from custody while their immigration case is under investigation.

During the hearing, an immigration judge (IJ) will review any evidence you submit to sho you can be trusted to follow through on all proceedings if you’re released.

Some of the factors they will consider include:

Immigration Sponsorship

Immigrants must have a sponsor who already lives in the US. The sponsor must be a legal resident who can support the immigrant during the immigration process.

  • Immigrants should ask their sponsor to prepare a sponsor letter that includes the following:
  • The sponsor’s home address, phone number and proof that they live there (i.e., utility bill); and
  • Description of how the detainee and sponsor know each other.

Family Ties

The IJ will study whether you have family connections in the US. These factors might reveal that you are responsible for taking care of minor children. These ties may also demonstrate that you’re eligible for a marriage-based green card.

Some examples of this evidence can include:

  • Letters of support from family members;
  • Photos with family members during holidays, birthdays, vacations; and
  • Copy of marriage certificate

Employment and Property Ownership

The IJ will consider whether you are a responsible member of the workforce. They also want to see if you will be financially independent to care of yourself.

Examples of this kind of proof include:

  • Letter of support from your employer or supervisor;
  • Paycheck stubs; and
  • Property deeds.

Community Connections

Another way you can show the IJ you are not a risk is to demonstrate your community ties. This evidence can show the judge how personally invested you are in your town.

Some examples of evidence you can collect to prove these ties include:

  • Letters of support from personal friends or community members who know you (religious leaders, neighbors); and
  • Letters describing volunteering activities or church membership.

Next Steps

If you have an immigration bond hearing scheduled soon, it’s your job to collect as much proof as you can to show the judge that you are not a risk. Talk to your friends, neighbors and employer. Ask them to write letters of support for you.

Don’t forget to check our website for more information about understanding immigration bonds. Contact us today for a free consultation and we’ll help you with this daunting task.

Here’s How to Check Your Immigration Status

Waiting for updates on a pending immigration application or case can make an already uncertain situation feel even more stressful.

If it seems like your case is stuck in the system, keep in mind that in general, the immigration process takes months, even years for some applicants. If you tire of playing the waiting game, you have several options to satisfy your curiosity.

Here’s how to check your immigration status when you haven’t heard anything from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office that’s processing your case.

Before you begin your status check, make sure you have your receipt. We’ll talk about that before we move on to the different options for checking your status.

Don’t Lose Your Receipt

After you submit an application or petition to USCIS, you should receive a printed receipt. It may take a few days, or even several weeks to arrive.

Whether you check your status online, by telephone, or in person, you’ll need the receipt. Specifically, you’ll need your receipt number, which is a 13-digit number preceded by 3 letters. The letters identify the USCIS office handling your case.

Speaking of receipts, did you send your application or petition by certified mail? If so, keep that receipt handy as well. It’s proof that you sent it and you may need it if you end up making an appointment for an in-person meeting.

Next, determine if you should set up an account with USCIS.

USCIS Online Account

One way you can streamline your case status inquiries is by signing up for an online account with USCIS.

The online account allows applicants and petitioners access to real-time information about their case(s). Here’s what you can do through an online account:

Track case status.

Send messages to the USCIS Contact Center.

Receive answers to your secure inbox.

You may also use the online account to reach out for help if you can’t get into your account or need other technical assistance. At this time, you can access the online account system on a computer, tablet, or cell phone.

Check Your Status Online

The easiest way you can check the status of an immigration case or application is through the online case status tool. You’ll need your case number, which you’ll find on the receipt we mentioned earlier. Without your case number, you won’t be able to check your status online.

USCIS makes it convenient by allowing you to check only one case, or list each of your immigration cases in your online portfolio.

Why not set up an automatic update in your account? Then, you’ll receive an email letting alerting you about actions taken on your case.

Be aware that the online status tool doesn’t provide every detail on your case. For example, you won’t get any security check status information with this tool.

USCIS also makes an online messaging system available for the following situations:

  • Longer than normal processing times.
  • The card or other document didn’t come in the mail.
  • The card or document contains an error.

USCIS refers to the messaging system as its e-request tool.

Here’s How to Check Your Immigration Status with Emma

Emma is a virtual assistant. If you’re not familiar with virtual assistants, they work remotely, handling a wide range of administrative tasks.

In this case, Emma, the virtual assistant to USCIS customers, is not a real person. Instead, Emma uses artificial intelligence (AI) to answer your questions.

Emma is easy to use and easy to find. Anytime you visit the website for USCIS, Emma appears in the corner of your screen. To check the status of your case, type in the question and Emma will give you the link to the answer.

Need help? Ask Emma.

Make a Phone Call

If you don’t have access to a computer, tablet, or cell phone with internet service, you can always call the USCIS service center at 800-375-5283. This is their national customer service number. Like many other organizations, you’ll have a list of options to choose from when you call.

If you listen carefully to the options and select the right one, you should get connected with the service center responsible for processing your case.

Should your call transfer over to a general customer service representative, just explain (briefly) about your situation and let the representative know you’re calling to check your status.

When you call the service center you don’t need your receipt number. They can use other identifying information. Also, be aware of hold times—you may wait 2 minutes, but if they’re busy, you may be on hold for up to two hours.

Remember, although customer service representatives have a signification amount of information about your case, they won’t be able to discuss things like detention, detention hearings, or immigration bonds.

Check Your Status By Mail

While not the most convenient way of checking status, sending an inquiry mail does work. Mail inquiries work best when you’ve filed your application with a local USCIS Field Office. You will write that office directly for your update.

In your status check letter make sure you include as much information as possible. In addition to you name, address, and date of birth, you’ll need the date and place where you filed the application or petition. You’ll also need:

  • Receipt Number
  • Alien Number (A-Number)

Don’t forget to include a copy of the most recent communication sent to you by the USCIS.

Need More Help with Your Immigration Case?

Now that we’ve shared our tips on here’s how to check your immigration status, we hope we’ve answered your most pressing questions.

Sometimes, people need help navigating the system after they’ve been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Did you know that Texas, California, Arizona, Georgia, and Louisiana are the top 5 states with the largest number of people detained by ICE? We provide immigration bond services for these states and every other state in the U.S.

Contact us today for more information on immigration bonds. Let us put our years of experience to work helping you or your loved one.

Will I Get My Immigration Bond Fee Back? A Guide to Immigration Bond Refunds

Did you know that there are more than 200 immigrant prisons and jails in the United States?

No wonder that loved ones are finding themselves in a situation where they have to bail their relatives or friends out on bond.

You paid the bond, but will you get a refund? We hope so.

Keep reading to learn what you need to do to make sure you get your immigration bond money back.

Will I Get My Immigration Bond Fee Back?

The immigration bond fee is the money that was paid to release a detained person on the condition that they will attend all immigration court hearings. After Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detain a person they set the bond amount if they’re eligible for a bond. The bond amount is based on how much risk it will be to the public if this person is released.

The riskier the higher the bond amount. Whoever pays the bond amount is entitled to get their money back if the person shows up to their court hearings and complies with the orders given by the judge.

How?

After the detention release if the individual that was detained obtains legal status in the United States or is deported it meets the conditions of the bond and triggers a bond refund with its cancellation. Once it’s canceled ICE send the ICE Form I-391 to the DHS Debt Management Center in Vermont and to the person who provided the bond at the address they provided at the time.

It’s good to keep in mind that if you paid for the bond if you ever move you want to fill out Form I-333 (Obliger Change of Address). This will ensure that you will receive notice of the cancellation when it happens. Once the person receives Form I-391 it has to be sent back with the receipt of the bond, along with a cover letter with a request for the refund.

Lost Your Receipt?

If you have lost or misplaced your original receipt there’s another form you can fill out. You can fill out Form I-395 and have it notarized in replacement of the misplaced or lost receipt.

Designate a New Party

If you decide that you want to designate someone else to receive the bond back you can fill out a form which will be like filling out a power of attorney. The form will specify who can receive the bond money back once it’s available to be returned.

If in the future you change your mind and want to not have that person receive the bond money back you can fill out a form to revoke the original form assigning the designation to them.

You’re Not Alone

It might be a scary situation helping out someone you love and care about that has been detained. It’s important to know you’re not alone during the process. Seeking professional help from someone who understands the law will make everything less overwhelming.

Are you looking to have questions answered about an immigration bond? Contact us 24/7 to help give you peace of mind.

What Is an Immigration Bond?: A Guide for Families

According to recently gathered court data, roughly 30% of those arrested and detained by The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are fortunate enough to be granted bail at a custody hearing. While this number may not immediately impressive on the surface, the statistic is about 12% higher than it was almost five years ago.

Regardless of the increase, however, the fact still remains that less than one-third of ICE detainees are granted the opportunity to pay a bond for temporary release from ICE custody.

With that said, we know that families facing immigration issues with ICE need to be prepared. Keep reading as we provide a deeper understanding of immigration bonds.

What Are Immigration Bonds?

Like regular bonds, immigration bonds are payments used as a warranty to make sure that someone who has been charged for a crime will show up for every court hearing. In exchange for paying the bond, a person is given the opportunity to spend time in between hearings outside of a detention center.

The only person qualified to pay a bond is someone with legal status. Once the obligor (person who pays the bond) hands over the bond amount to ICE and the charged individual attends the required court hearings, the obligor can get his money returned.

The Procedure for Obtaining a Bond

Once ICE has processed a detainee, the individual is notified on whether or not he has received a bond hearing. In the cases where ICE doesn’t grant a person a bond hearing right away, he can petition a judge and ask that bond is set. A judge then has the option of setting a bond or denying the request.

It’s important to note that a person receiving a bond is dependent on whether or not ICE or an immigration judge views him as a flight risk or a danger to the community. The following criterion is used to determine a bond:

  • The likelihood of a person showing up for all court hearings.
  • How connected an individual is to his local family and the surrounding community.
  • How a person entered into the U.S., and the length of time he’s been present in the country.
  • How dangerous a person is to the community.

The Price Tag of a Bond

By law, the minimum costs for a bond is $1,500. However, the median bond amount set in 2018 was $7,500. What an individual is actually required to pay is completely up to the discretion of ICE or an immigration judge.

Now in cases where a person feels his bond set by ICE is too high, he does have the option of appealing to a judge for a lower amount.

In rare instances, a detainee is released from a detention center in between court hearings without having to pay a bond amount via ICE’s parole process. Yet again, the chances of ICE granting a person parole is rare. Since 2017, ICE has denied approximately 96% of all requests for parole.

How Amistad Bail Bonds Can Help You?

If you or a loved one is assigned a bond amount to pay, but find the amount unaffordable, that’s where we come in.  We provide around the clock service in helping you meet your immigration bond needs. So don’t hesitate to contact us if you or a loved one requires assistance.

How To Choose The Best Immigration Path for You

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…

The United States of America’s population reached close to 45-million foreign-born individuals in 2018. That number does not look to be going down any time soon.

If you want to be one of these fortunate individuals, you need to know exactly how to get through the hoops and into the country with minimal hassle. In this article, we will talk about your options and inform you of your immigration options so you can start your new life in relative peace.

The Process of U.S. Immigration

The process of immigrating to the United States requires attaining a visa to do so legally. These break down into two different kinds of documents.

Temporary Visa

These are various working visas available to immigrants for learning, teaching, or working. If you wish to enter the United States permanently, this is not the path you should be investigating. It is instead useful to enter the country to organize a more permanent trip later, or for a short-term reason.

Permanent Visa

When looking for an opportunity to enter the country permanently, there are several ways to do so. We have listed your primary options below, and each application has unique requirements. If you should decide to go this route, make sure to consult an immigration lawyer to make sure you do not miss any steps.

Your Options

There are many ways to get a legal permanent residence in the USA. Each one requires you to follow a different process, as explained below.

Relative of a Citizen

The most common method of getting a “green card” is to be a relative of a U.S. citizen. To go through this, you must either be an immediate relative or be one of the limited numbers of people given a visa for being a “preference relative.”

For the authorities to consider you an immediate relative, you must be either:

  • The spouse or recent widow/widower or a U.S. citizen
  • A child, adopted child, or parent of a U.S. citizen. This includes stepchildren and step-parents.

Becoming a step-parent is only recognized if the marriage occurred before the child turned 18. Similarly, adopted children may only enter the USA permanently if the adoption occurred before they turned 16 years old.

Each year there are also a limited number of green cards given to other relatives. These get offered on a first-come-first-served basis, so getting the application in early is very important. This is especially true as the process can take up to three years to complete.

Working in the U.S.

If someone receives a job offer in the U.S., they can seek a green card with the employer’s active blessing. Up to 140k green cards are available each year to people using this method.

This method is not instantaneous and may take many years to attain, although there are groups who get priority. In order of preference, they include:

  • People who have “extraordinary ability” in their area of expertise. Similarly, particularly notable researchers or professors, as well as company executives, can apply
  • Professional individuals with a high-level ability or an advanced degree
  • Skilled or unskilled workers
  • Religious workers
  • People willing to invest $1,800,000 into a business in the United States, or $900,000 into a low-income area

Political Asylum

Those seeking refuge based on persecution can do so. They can do this by filling out a specific form (USCIS Form I-589) and sending it to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you are in this position, we would encourage you to contact a lawyer for detailed advice on how to resolve your situation.

Special Immigrants

Some groups will be able to gain a permanent visa who are not listed above. These individuals fit into a wide gamut of exceptions and include:

  • Servicepeople with over twelve years’ service
  • Former international U.S. government workers or retired employees of international organizations
  • People declared dependent by the juvenile court in the U.S.
  • Religious workers
  • Foreign medical graduates from before January 10 1978 who meet specific criteria

Green Card Lottery

50,000 cards are available via a lottery system to specific countries that tend to send the fewest immigrants to the United States. Applicants through this system can apply online. The list of applicable countries is also at this link.

Inadmissable individuals

Regardless of your method of entry, you may be inadmissible for several specific reasons. These include any of the following:

  • If you are likely to be dependent on welfare
  • You have violated U.S. immigration law
  • You do not have all the vaccinations recommended by the U.S. government at the time
  • You have ever been a member of the Nazi party or assisted in their actions
  • You are or have been a prostitute
  • You have a history of committing espionage or terrorism or intend to
  • You have a significant criminal record, either in number or severity of crimes
  • You have a drug trafficking record or a record of drug abuse
  • You have a disorder likely to be dangerous to public health
  • You have a disease the Centers for Disease Control consider worth keeping out of the country

What Can an Immigration Lawyer Do For You?

The above is a very brief summary of the ways an individual could achieve immigration into the United States. An immigration lawyer can often be a huge boon to help navigate the American legal system.

For example, if a border service detains you, you may need a bond to be paid for your release. An immigration lawyer will be able to help you with this situation by following the processes of state to the letter.

What Are Your Next Steps?

Choosing the correct path for immigration can be easy, but selecting the right lawyer to assist you in the journey may not be as simple. If you are having trouble, contact us for more information. We service immigration nationwide and can help you start the process of entering and staying in the USA.

Understanding the Deportation Process After an ICE Raid

deportation process

The greatest fear of an undocumented immigrant in the United States is deportation. Deportation is more than just the removal of undocumented individuals from the country. It’s something that tears families apart and can put certain individuals in imminent danger once returned to their home country. Fortunately, undocumented immigrants do have some basic rights that align with ICE immigration raids. It also helps to know what can be expected from the deportation process.

Keep reading to find out more about how the deportation process works, and how undocumented immigrants can give themselves a fighting chance.

The Deportation Process Explained

The recent ICE raids had agents targeting more than just the undocumented. They also targeted the newly arrived families from Central and South America. The raids began in New York, Florida, and Illinois, and then spread throughout 10 other US cities.

The goal was to target those not eligible for citizenship in the United States. This is especially true for families and individuals seeking asylum.

The families and individuals arrested and detained during the ICE raids are typically ordered to be deported by a judge. The main reason behind the deportation is not necessarily their eligibility to gain citizenship, but simply because they fail to appear in court. 

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. In many cases overseen by immigration lawyers, the detained immigrants that are given an order to appear in court aren’t given supplementary information—such as the time and location. There are also incidents of individuals showing up for court only to be told that they were not asked to report on that day and/or time. 

The Deportation Process Timeline

The deportation process can take months. Once an individual has been deported, they will be barred by the United States government for up to five, ten, or twenty years. Sometimes, permanently. The exact length of time which is an average of ten years depends on the circumstances of the deportation. 

The entire process can be extremely intimidating for immigrants who are unfamiliar with the laws on immigration. Individuals who are facing deportation are often coerced into signing documents without legal support. This poses other legal risks. Those risks include things like permanent barring from the country or even a criminal record. If they were to return with either status, they’d become a target for ICE once again.

Here’s a break down of the deportation process, what immigrants can expect, and what their options are:

The Arrest

To make an arrest, ICE agents typically try to catch undocumented individuals leaving their homes, at work, or in other places. They’ll stake out homes in advance with photos and knowledge of their targets. There are even attempts by agents to coax undocumented immigrants out of their homes

When an arrest happens, the undocumented individual still has their basic rights. These include the right to remain silent and not consent to any searches. Agents will try to establish an identity for the individual, but the individual does not have to confirm. They will still be arrested, however.

Paperwork and Processing

Once arrested, the undocumented individual is taken to local ICE headquarters for processing. This can take hours between the paperwork and finding a place in an immigrant detention center. ICE is not required to detain undocumented individuals locally. This means that the arrested individual can be sent anywhere within the United States to be detained. 

During this time, a lawyer can file a motion to reopen and examine the deportation case is created for the individual. This is something that can delay the immediate removal of the individual from the country. 

Of course, after speaking with a lawyer and filing a motion, a scheduled hearing could take months. During this time, the undocumented individual is placed in a detention center. 

The individual also has the option to volunteer for their immediate removal. In this case, they are processed for removal immediately with less of a risk of legal impact.

Eligibility For Immigration Bond

The ICE officer filling out and processing the paperwork will also see if the undocumented individual is eligible for a bail bond—and for how much.

Immigration bail bonds are typically set by 2:00 pm the day after an individual’s arrest and arrival to an ICE office. If the individual’s family or friends are able to pay this bond, they will be released to their US home for the duration of the deportation proceedings. 

Not all immigrants are eligible, however. When the officer is determining whether or not to assign a bail bond and for what amount, they have to consider a few things. One of those things is whether or not the undocumented individual will go into hiding and/or miss their immigration hearing. 

Another factor is whether or not that individual is a danger to the rest of the community. Individuals with a criminal record or that fall into certain categories will most likely be refused bail bonds. 

Of course, if the individual is denied a bail bond they have the right to request that a judge reconsider the ICE officer’s decision. The individual can also request that a judge lower the amount of their bail bond if they’re family or friends can’t afford it.

Deportation Proceedings

Once all legal options are exhausted—family-based adjustment of status, asylum, etc.—or the individual agrees to voluntary deportation, the physical process of deportation begins. 

How quickly they are removed from the country depends on a few things. For example, where they are being detained in the United States and the country they are being sent back to. The amount of time it takes to get the necessary travel documents also plays a part.

The physical deportation process can take up to four months if the individual is being returned to Central America. It’ll take even longer if they’re being returned to South America or elsewhere.

Getting the Right Help

If you know someone that one that is undocumented and going through the deportation process, there is hope. We can help you with your immigration bail bond so that your loved one doesn’t have to be subjected to an immigration detention center.

Contact us for a free consultation with a licensed bail agent. We’re around 24/7.  

How Do Immigration Bonds Work and How Do You Get One?

immigration bonds

Between May and July of 2019, the average number of days that individuals spent detained for immigration violations rose from 28 to 46. That is a substantial amount of time spent away from their friends and family awaiting trial. However, it doesn’t have to be this way: immigration bonds are designed to reduce how long people spend detained. 

Keep reading to get an overview of the different types of immigration bonds that are available, and how you can go about getting a loved one back home.

What Are Immigration Bonds? 

Immigration bonds are payments made to the court to release someone who has been arrested for an immigration violation. They work in a similar manner to criminal bail bonds and are returned to you once you fulfill the conditions of the bond. 

There are two different types of immigration bonds that are available. The first is a delivery bond and applies when an individual has been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with a warrant. A delivery bond holds the money as a way to guarantee that the arrested individual will come to their immigration hearing. 

If the individual does not come to their hearing or any later appeals or hearings related to the case, they will forfeit the bond to the court and may be deported. 

Delivery bonds allow individuals to spend time with their families while they wait for their trial. However, they need to be approved for a delivery bond by a judge. Those that a judge sees as a flight risk, including those guilty of or on trial for felonies, will not be able to post a delivery bond.

The other type of immigration bond is called a voluntary departure bond. These bonds have nothing to do with immigration trials. Instead, they allow someone detained by ICE to leave the country within a specific period of time at their own expense.

If they leave the country within that period of time, they receive their bond back in full. If they do not leave, the bond is forfeited, and ICE will issue a warrant for their arrest.

How Much Does an Immigration Bond Cost?

Each case that qualifies for a bond will be given a different bond amount. That amount depends on the financial means of the defendant, the seriousness of the immigration violation, and the flight risk that the individual represents. 

The lowest that a delivery bond can cost is $1,500, while there is no hard and fast limit to how much a bond can be, according to the Justice Department. 

You can appeal the amount of your bond if you believe that the judge made a mistake in your case. Appeals have to be made within 30 days of the bond amount being handed down. In general, however, bond amounts are not changed unless there has been a significant misinterpretation of the law. 

In most cases, you won’t be able to pay the full amount of the bond all at once. Unfortunately, most families don’t have thousands of dollars in cash lying around. That’s where immigration bond agents can help you out. 

Immigration bond agents will put up the entire amount of the bond for you and will charge a fee for their service. This prevents you from having to make hard financial decisions, like taking out loans or using your savings, to get a loved one back home. 

Usually, you’ll put a small percentage of the entire bond amount as a down payment, and the bond agent will keep that down payment as their fee once the case has been closed. Many bond agents will also offer payment plans at low or no interest that will help make getting the bond even more affordable for you. Keep in mind that this means you won’t get any money back once you fulfill the terms of the bond. 

How Do You Post an Immigration Bond?

To actually pay an immigration bond to the court, you need to be an American citizen or permanent resident (a green card holder). If no one in your family falls into these categories, you need to talk to someone you trust about posting a bond. Make sure that you trust this person, as you are relying on them to give you back the cost of the bond after the immigration case is over. 

Of course, choosing to use a bond agent to post an immigration bond can get around both problems. You won’t have to find someone to post the bond for you, and you won’t have to worry about your money not being returned after the case has been closed. 

Bonds can only be posted as money orders or certified checks. Any bonds that are in excess of $10,000 need to be submitted as certified checks. Make sure that you have the means to acquire either of these formats if you are going to post the bond yourself.  

Immigration Bonds Can Get Your Loved One Back Home

You should talk to your family members and a bond agent as soon as someone you love has been detained. Immigration bonds can get them out of detainment and back home quickly, but only if you take the steps to submit the funding as soon as possible. 

Has a family member or loved one been detained for an immigration violation? Get in touch with our team at Amistad Bail Bonds! We’ll work with you to get them back home while they await their court date, without breaking the bank to do so.