Detainees can only avail of immigration bonds if they are able to meet certain requirements.
What is an immigration bond? In a few words, it is bail posted by another individual for an immigration detainee so the latter can be released temporarily from confinement. The main thing is the bondsman should be a law-abiding third-party (agent or company). If bail is granted, the litigant must still attend all court hearings and be available to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) authorities at any given time.
How does it help
The immigration bond will not affect the final decision in an immigration case. Instead, it is an opportunity for the alien to cope with a prolonged trial and seek the right legal assistance. Moreover, confinement in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility can be very difficult.
Who is qualified
It is the ICE that can determine eligibility for release. This Agency also sets the amount of bail bond which should be paid within one week following incarceration. A bond hearing may be requested in case the ICE denies the bond or the amount is quite high. An immigration judge can decide on the appeal or reduce the ICE bond’s cost. Decisions usually depend on the following:
The alien does not pose a threat to the community.
He or she is not guilty of any crime in the past.
This person will not flee from the state or country and be present at all trials.
There is very good chance the alien will win the case.
Once approved, the bondsman must arrange a meeting with the locally-based immigration office for payment. USCIS requires all surety agents to present their original Social Security Card and Number plus a valid Identification Card picture. Cashier’s checks must be paid to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Cash and personal checks are not accepted. The ICE Office will notify the detention center officials that the bond has been settled. The detainee can be fetched after an hour.
The bondsman can claim refund after the case if resolved. It does not matter whether the immigration judge grants relief or orders the deportation of the alien. The reimbursement is given if the alien attended all hearings dutifully and informed the ICE regarding any change in address. The government can forfeit and keep the money if these conditions are not met. Aside from the principal amount, there is a minimal amount representing accumulated interest.
The ICE takes charge of advising the Debt Management Center about the bond’s termination. The Center sends out a notification of the bond’s cancellation to the bondsman. This is in the form of I-391 (Notice of Cancellation) with instructions about claiming the refund. It may take several months before this form is received through the email. Required documents for making claims consist of the Form (I-391), original receipt (Form I-305) and copy of bond contract (Form I-352).
It is important for the bond guarantor to review and understand all these details carefully to avoid blunders. These mistakes can only lead to further problems.