Immigration Bonds – Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Immigration Bonds?

Immigration Bonds are a form of Federal Bond. Immigration bonds are somewhat similar to bail in a couple of ways but different in others.

Bail is an amount of money that the court system requires that a person deposit with them to get released from jail after they've been arrested and charged with a crime. This amount of money is intended to ensure that the defendant shows up for every court hearing and proceeding until the court case has reached its conclusion.

Once the court proceedings have finished, the defendant is either found innocent and released, or found guilty and sentenced. Whatever the case, the bail money is no longer required, and the court will refund the money back to the person who paid it.

Immigration bonds are an amount of money that is held by the federal government during immigration court proceedings. It is intended to ensure that the defendant will appear for hearings and leave the country if that is the determination of the immigration court.

Immigration Bonds allow the subject of an immigration investigation and court proceedings to return to family and friends, work their job, and carry on a normal life while the immigration courts work through the issues surrounding the defendant's legal status in the United States.

Once the immigration court proceedings have concluded, the immigration bond will be refunded to whoever paid the bond. However, the process to obtain a refund can be lengthy. It can take up to several months for the Federal Government to refund the bond amount.

What Happens if the Local Police arrest an Illegal Alien?

If a person with questionable legal status is detained in the ordinary course things, they would be taken to the local jail and processed like anyone else. They will have their picture taken, fingerprints recorded, and ID looked at. If they don't have the proper ID to show that they are in the United States legally, the local law enforcement authorities are required to notify the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement division (ICE).

DHS or ICE will send the local law enforcement office a “detainer” request for the defendant. This “detainer” request requires that the local agency holds the defendant at their facility for a minimum of 48-hours so that ICE can take custody.

Once the defendant has been transferred to ICE custody, they will be taken to a processing center. ICE will hold the defendant at the processing center while they try to determine the defendant's legal immigration status. This investigation includes a check of criminal history and can legally take up to 48-hours. The 48-hour timeline doesn't include weekends, or holidays, and can be extended as needed if the evidence ICE is seeking to determine legality cannot be located.

What is an “A” Number?

Each person being investigated by DHS and ICE is assigned an Alien Registration Number or “A” Number. ICE uses this number to track paperwork and investigation details. When contacting DHS, ICE, or anyone else regarding the subject of an immigration investigation, you will need their “A” number. ICE has supervision responsibility for thousands of people and won't even try to find details for a defendant without that designation.

How Do Immigration Bonds Work?

Once the ICE investigation is completed, the defendant is turned over ERO, the Enforcement and Removal Operations division of ICE. ERO manages and oversees the nation's immigration detention system. Once an individual is placed in ERO custody, they may be eligible for release while their immigration case makes its way through the court system. This process may take years, and if release is available, it is much better to be home with friends and family while waiting for your case to be heard, rather than sitting in jail, waiting to see what happens.

Once the ICE investigation is complete, and the subject is turned over to ERO, there should be two documents served on the defendant. The first is called a Notice to Appear, or NTA, and should include the following information:

  • The Alien Registration Number
  • The Subject's Name
  • How and Where the Subject Entered the US
  • Any Allegations Made by the DHS/ICE
  • Violations of US Law

The second document that should accompany the NTA is called Notice of Custody Determination, or NCD. This document should indicate a bond amount. If the NCD does not list a bond amount, or if a “no bond” is indicated on the document, the subject has the right to ask an immigration judge to set the bond amount. However, there may be up to a ten-day waiting period for the hearing.

The bond is the amount of money the US Government will hold to ensure that the defendant appears for all immigration court proceedings and that they follow the conditions of their bond.

There are four types of immigration bonds:

  • G1 – Delivery Bond. This is a bond conditioned upon the delivery of an Alien and is the most common type of bond. It is used to ensure that a person will comply with a deportation order. A delivery bond allows an individual the opportunity to spend time with friends and family, as well as consult with an immigration attorney, prior to his or her court hearing.
  • G2 – Public Safety Bond. This bond is to ensure that the alien will not become a public charge. In other words, it ensures that the government will be reimbursed if a bonded alien receives any public assistance.
  • G3 – Voluntary Departure Bond. This bond is conditioned upon the voluntary departure of an undocumented alien and is used to ensure that the person returns to his or her home country in compliance with the conditions of the court order. A voluntary departure bond allows a detainee the opportunity to leave the country voluntarily within a specified time frame and gives the individual a chance to spend some time with family, make arrangements for themselves, and to leave under less stressful, less hurried circumstances. However, if the person chooses not to leave the country as agreed, the bond is forfeit and the person subject to pursuit, incarceration, and forcible deportation.
  • G4 – Order of Supervision Bond. This bond ensures that the individual complies with all conditions of the order of supervision and that he or she surrenders for removal.

A Delivery Bond and Voluntary Departure Bond are the two most common types of immigration bonds.

Who Is Eligible For Immigration Bonds?

Eligibility for an Immigration Bond is determined first by ICE and ERO, and then by an immigration court judge. If the NCD does not list a bond amount, or if a “no bond” is indicated on the document, the subject has the right to ask an immigration judge to set the bond amount. There may be up to a ten-day waiting period for the hearing. Individuals with an extension criminal history may not be eligible for Immigration Bonds.

What is an Immigration Bond Hearing?

An immigration hearing is proceedings in front of an immigration judge, to determine the eligibility of an individual for bond and to establish the amount of the bond. A person has a right to be represented by an immigration attorney at this hearing.

What Happens at an Immigration Bond Hearing?

The defendant is transported to the Immigration Court, to appear in front of the Immigration Judge. The Immigration Judge will review all of the documents and evidence of legal status, criminal history, reasons for detention, etc. After looking over all of this information, the judge will make a decision about the defendant's eligibility for Immigration Bond.

Some factors would make a person ineligible for Immigration Bonds. These factors include the defendant's criminal history, the circumstances surrounding their arrest and detention, and the Judge's overall perception of the defendant's character and flight risk.

Why Would I Need Immigration Bonds?

If the Immigration Judge decides that a defendant is eligible for Immigration Bond, posting the bond with the government will allow the defendant to return home to friends and family while they wait for their immigration court proceedings to come to completion.

How Do I Post an Immigration Bond?

There are two ways to pay for an Immigration Bond:

A cash bond can be paid directly to ICE. The bond money will be held by the government and refunded once the defendant has attended all mandatory hearings and court proceedings and complied with all conditions of the bond.

An Immigration Bond Agent can post a surety bond on behalf of the defendant. The Immigration Bond Agent will charge a premium amount, typically 20% of the total bond amount. The premium is non-refundable.

Can I Post an Immigration Bond for Someone Else?

Yes, the Immigration Bond can be paid by anyone on behalf of someone else. You can also work with a bail bondsman to post a bond on behalf of another person.

A bail bondsman can post a surety bond on behalf of the defendant for a premium that is less than the full cost of the Federal Immigration Bond. This allows the defendant and his or her family members to retain their cash funds and resources to use in retaining an attorney, or paying bills, or doing whatever is most important during the long Immigration Court proceedings.

What do Immigration Bonds Cost?

The amount of Federal Immigration Bonds can vary from as little as $500 to as much as $50,000 depending on criminal history and other circumstances. To pay the Immigration Bond on behalf of yourself or someone else, you will need to work directly with the Department of Homeland Security. Navigating the bureaucracy of the DHS can be difficult and time-consuming. However, if you have the full amount needed to pay the Federal Immigration Bond, it can be done. To do so, you must locate an immigration office that accepts bonds, and then purchase a cashier's check or money order for the amount of the bond.

The amount of the Federal bonds required to obtain the release of an undocumented immigrant will depend on several factors. These factors include:

  • Immigration Status
  • Criminal History
  • Employment Situation
  • Family Ties

The higher the flight risk, the higher the bond amount will likely be. The range for immigration bonds can run from $1,500 to $50,000 or more. Departure bonds are typically lower, often about $500.00. It is important to keep in mind that the government can take a long time, often up to a year, to return the bond amount to the person who posted it. This is just one reason that it makes sense to use the services of a bonding agency to post an immigration bond.

What can I use as Collateral for a Federal Immigration Bond?

Cash, credit cards, and real property are the most common form of collateral for Federal Immigration Bonds. If real property is used, the value of the property must be double the value of the bond required and free of any liens.

Is an Immigration Bond Refundable?

Once the defendant has appeared for all mandatory hearings and complied with the conditions of the bond, as well as the findings of the immigration court, the bond will be refunded. The refund process can take several weeks to several months. This is another reason that many people prefer to use the services of an Immigration Bail Bondsman. Bond Agents are experienced in working with government agencies in the payment and refund of Bonds.

What is an Immigration Bail Bondsman?

Immigration bonds are a form of Federal Bonds and are somewhat different from the bail bonds required for local criminal charges. However, if any criminal charges were made at the time of arrest, a California State Appearance Bond would need to be made at the same time. The rates for Federal Bonds range from 12% to 20%, depending on the charges and the amount of the bond required. The premium for appearance bonds is 10%, though discounts can be negotiated for people who have retained a private attorney, members of the military, and members of some other groups.

Where can I Find an Immigration Bondsman?

Mr. Good Guy Bail Bonds is licensed to facilitate Immigration Bonds and will work with you to get your friend or loved one home as quickly as possible. Whether you are looking for Federal Immigration Bonds or local appearance bonds, Mr. Nice Guy and the licensed members of his team will work hard to get you, or someone you love, back home fast!

Spanish speaking bondsmen are available, and most other languages can be accommodated.

Call Mr. Nice Guy today for help in securing the release of your friend or loved one.

Call (844)  400- BAIL (2245) Now!