What Happens at an Immigration Bond Hearing?

The U.S. Immigration Court system is dealing with a record-breaking number of pending cases that reached 1,596,193 at the end of December 2021.

As of April 2022, there are 18,846 immigrants held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention. If you’re a foreign national detained by ICE, you may be released from custody upon payment of a bond.

Like criminal bail bonds, bail bonds for immigration ensure a person’s release and cooperation with future court proceedings. The only difference is that immigration bail bonds are specifically required for immigrants who broke the law or come to the US illegally.

Failure to show up at future court hearings while out on bail can revoke your bond and the money goes to the U.S. government. If you comply with all court orders and appear at all your immigration bond hearings, the money goes back to whoever paid the bond.

The amount of bail will be determined by either an Immigration Judge (IJ) or ICE. When you’re detained while awaiting removal proceedings, ICE will make the first custody determination. If you disagree with ICE’s determination, you may request a bond hearing from the IJ.

In this guide, Amistad Bail and Immigration Bonds walks you through the bail process and what you can expect during an immigration bond hearing.

What to expect from an immigration bond hearing

On the date of your hearing, you will be transferred from a detention facility to the courtroom. If there is no on-site immigration court at the detention facility, then you may appear in front of an IJ via video link. You may also be transported by bus to a court facility.

Convicted detainees will likely be required to wear federally issued clothing and shoes in the courtroom. The use of restraints like handcuffs and shackles will not be required unless necessary. You will be instructed on where to sit, and you will not be allowed to interact with anyone except your lawyer.

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Reviewing your eligibility

In an immigration bond hearing, the IJ will assess your immigration status in the U.S. and decide whether to grant you a bond.

A detainee may be eligible to an immigration bond if they are:

  • not a flight risk (You may not be considered a flight risk if you are employed in the US, have family ties in the country, and can rent your own home or apartment.)
  • not a danger to the security and safety of the United States, and
  • not a threat to national security.

Expect the IJ to inquire about your ties to the United States, including employment and family. They will also assess your criminal history and whether you have complied with the court before. Letters of support from your family, colleagues, and employers may be used to discuss your moral character.

If the IJ grants you a bond, you will receive a written order with the bail amount. The IJ will also reschedule your Master Calendar Hearing, so you can pay the bond and be released from custody prior to your next court appearance.

How much is a bond for immigration?

There is no limit to how high an IJ may set a bond. The price of a bond will depend on several factors, including the length of time you’ve resided in the US, your employment history and family ties, and previous criminal or immigration offenses.

The minimum that a delivery bond price can be is $1,500. If the IJ believes you are a flight risk, they may set your bond as high as $10,000 to $20,000.

Contact an immigration attorney today

If you or a loved one has been detained by immigration, hiring an attorney who specializes in bond hearings and deportation defense is a priority.

At Amistad Bail and Immigration Bonds, we deliver top-notch immigration bond services within the USA. Contact us today for a free consultation.