Immigration Bond Hearings Explained

If you need to learn about the legal process and requirements for immigration bond hearings, get in touch with Manji Law, P.C. today. We can guide you. Call us now.

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Atlanta Immigration Attorney Jameel Manji

Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.

Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: November 30, 2023.

Manji Law is your complete immigration solution. If you are seeking assistance with the Atlanta Immigration Court, please give us a call. Manji Law can provide valuable insight, assistance, and a guiding hand to help you achieve your goals.

Understanding the Importance of Immigration Bond Hearings

If Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) suspects that you have committed an immigration violation, they will arrest you and place you in a detention facility. This can be a very devastating experience, especially if you have family members or children who depend on you. You may wonder if there is a way for you to get out of detention while your case is still pending.

Under certain circumstances, you may be able to get out of ICE custody after paying a bond. A bond is an amount of money that guarantees that you will continue to appear for future immigration court proceedings after your release. Although the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may set an initial bond amount, you can request a bond hearing from an immigration judge if the ICE does not agree to a bond.

Immigration bond hearings are only available to eligible detainees. If you do not understand the legal aspects of securing a bond, your application for release may be denied.

Read on to learn more about immigration bonds hearing and how Manji Law, P.C. can help.

The Basics of Immigration Bond Hearings

Definition and Purpose

A bond hearing is a process that allows you to present your case to an immigration judge. The judge will determine if you should remain in custody or be released while you await immigration proceedings.

Bond hearings are different from removal proceedings and are usually scheduled at your request. At a bond hearing, you must prove that you are willing to cooperate with the immigration court and obey its orders. This includes leaving the country if you are found removable.

Eligibility Criteria

Immigration judges generally have the authority to carry out bond hearings when someone is in DHS custody. Bonds cannot be granted if you fall into one of the following categories:

  1. You are involved in exclusion proceedings
  2. You are an arriving alien in removal proceedings
  3. You are ineligible for release on security or related grounds
  4. Your criminal record makes you ineligible for release

If you fall under one of the above categories, you will be placed under mandatory detention.

Types of Bonds

There are two kinds of immigration bonds available to eligible foreign nationals: Delivery bonds and voluntary departure bonds.

Delivery Bond

With delivery bonds, the immigration judge determines if you should be released after considering the severity of your crime. They set the bond amount, and you are temporarily released after you post the bond. Nevertheless, you will only be released on the understanding that you will show up at your next scheduled court hearing.

Voluntary Departure Bond

A voluntary departure bond is granted after you voluntarily agree to leave the U.S. on a specific date at your own expense. After you leave, the bond amount will be refunded. However, the bond amount will be forfeited if you fail to leave. Additionally, you will be arrested and forcibly removed from the country.

Preparing for the Hearing

Gathering Crucial Documents

When preparing for your bond hearing, it is essential to gather enough evidence to show the court that you have strong ties to the community and intend to obey the conditions of your release. You can use the following documents to strengthen your case:

  • A sponsor letter

  • Evidence of a strong case for relief from deportation

  • Evidence of close relatives with U.S. status

  • Letters of support from family members and friends detailing your good moral character

  • Tax records

  • Other documents that your attorney may request

Securing a Competent Attorney

U.S. immigration law is vast and can be very complex. Navigating the immigration court process with little or no understanding of immigration laws can affect the outcome of your case. Therefore, it is essential to consult a competent attorney who can provide experienced legal guidance and help you handle your immigration issues.

Bond Amount Determination

Some factors that may influence the bond amount set by an immigration judge include:

  • Whether you are a flight risk (you are likely not to comply with the bond conditions)

  • Your criminal history

  • Your employment status or ties to the community

  • Your family ties in the United States

The Hearing

Bond hearings usually occur on the same day as master calendar hearings, which are held for pleadings, scheduling, and other immigration-related matters. At the hearing, the immigration judge will consider the evidence provided and ask preliminary questions.

If the judge determines that you are eligible, they will set a bond amount, so you will be released from detention after posting the bond amount. This means you can spend time with your loved ones while your immigration case is being processed.

However, if the immigration judge denies the bond, you will remain in immigration detention until the termination of removal proceedings. The minimum bond amount the judge can set is $1500, and there is no maximum. The more the judge considers you a flight risk, the higher your bond amount.

The Post-Hearing Process

Payment of Bond

Not everyone can post an immigration bond. The person making the payment must be an English-speaking U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who understands the bond contract. The payment must be made by a certified bank cashier’s cheque or postal money order. It must also be made payable to the ICE and paid at the ICE office.

If the bond amount is too high, you can request a bond redetermination with the immigration judge. You can also retain the services of a bond agent to act as surety on your behalf.

Attending Future Proceedings

It is imperative that you continue to attend all your immigration court proceedings. By failing to do so, the judge will issue an order for your removal. Additionally, you will not be able to get the bond money back. At Manji Law, P.C., our immigration attorneys can assist you with the post-hearing procedures, including reminding you of your scheduled immigration court date.

Retaining the Services of a Skilled Immigration Attorney

Being held in DHS custody can be a terrifying and stressful experience. Every immigration case is unique, and retaining the services of an immigration lawyer with experience in such cases can be beneficial. 

At Manji Law P.C., our lawyers have a thorough knowledge of immigration law. We are committed to helping our clients get the best possible outcome in their immigration cases. We can guide you through the bond hearing process and advise you on the proper steps to take.

Our immigration attorneys understand the gravity of your situation and will fight to give you skilled legal representation before an immigration judge. If you have questions concerning your immigration bond hearing, contact Manji Law, P.C. today for consultation and professional support.