An immigration bond is a type of surety bond that is available to help individuals gain release from detention after they have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This type of bond is an agreement between the federal government, the person responsible for posting the bond, and the individual detained. The individual or organization posting the bond guarantees to the government that if the immigrant does not appear for any scheduled court proceedings, they will be financially responsible for covering any fines or penalties imposed by the government. If a person is released on an immigration bond, they are still required to appear at all scheduled hearings related to their immigration status and must abide by any other terms outlined in the bond agreement.
Immigration bonds can either be “delivered” or “voluntary departure” bonds and are usually posted in cash or via certified funds such as money orders or bankers’ checks. Depending on eligibility criteria, individuals may also post a “reduced fee” immigration bond, which reduces administrative fees associated with posting an immigration bond with ICE. In some cases, if a detainee cannot afford to post an immigration bond themselves, friends and family members may be able to do so on their behalf.
Individuals who have been detained while attempting to enter the United States without proper documentation are eligible for an immigration bond. Individuals convicted of certain felonies are not generally eligible for release on an immigration bond unless approved by ICE officials. Additionally, those seeking asylum within U.S. borders may be eligible for release on an immigration bond pending the completion of legal proceedings surrounding their application status.