An immigration bond is a money that is paid to secure the release of a detained foreign national. This immigration bond is designed to serve as a guarantee to the government that the bonded person will attend all of the immigration court hearings once they are out of detention. In most cases, you are entitled to a refund of the bond money you paid for this purpose. An immigration bond refund lawyer can help you get your bond money back.
When the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detains a foreign national, they will set a designated immigration bond amount if that person is eligible for a bond. The amount of the immigration bond is determined by a risk classification assessment. This assessment is designed to measure both the risk of flight of the detained individual and their risk to public safety.
An obligor is a person who actually pays or posts the immigration bond. There is a requirement that the obligor have legal status. For this reason, the obligor may be a family friend or an acquaintance. While the obligor typically posts the bond and does not financially contribute to it, when the immigration bond eventually gets refunded, it will go to the obligor. For this reason, it is important to choose an obligor whom you trust.
The obligor must pay the immigration bond and complete all of the necessary paperwork with ICE at the nearest ERO Field Office. Prior to showing up at the ERO Field Office, it is a good idea to contact the office first to ensure that they accept bond payment and find out the preferred manner of payment. Keep in mind that cash and personal checks are not accepted. In most cases, a certified check from a bank or a money order is preferred.
If the foreign national is able to pay the immigration bond amount that has been set by ICE, then they will be released after the payment has been made. However, if that person cannot afford the bond payment, he or she has the option to request a judicial review before an immigration judge to ask for a lower bond amount at a bond proceeding in court.
If you need to ask for a lower bond amount, it is always a good idea to speak with an immigration bond refund lawyer first. Your lawyer will be familiar with this process and can help you make sure that you have all of the proper documents in place and that you are following the proper procedures to give yourself the best chance of success.
A bond proceeding is the court process in which a foreign national requests that their bond amount is lowered. Federal regulations require a bond proceeding matter to be completely “separate and apart” from that person’s removal proceedings. This means that the bond matter is treated as a separate issue, and facts relevant to the removal proceedings are not considered here.
During bond proceedings, the judge will determine whether or not a foreign national is entitled to a lowered bond amount. The judge will review relevant facts and make a decision regarding lowing the bond based on whether the foreign national’s release pending the deportation proceedings will pose a danger to the safety of the public or any property.
The immigration judge will also consider whether the individual is likely to appear for the scheduled proceedings. Additionally, the judge will also consider any evidence that establishes a significant implication of national security interests in cases that involve foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States illegally.
If you are able to pay your bond in cash, ICE will deposit the money in a fund maintained by the Treasury Department. This fund is called the Immigration Bond Deposit Account. The money in the fund is held in trust for the obligor (the person who pays and posts the bond).
While the money is held in the fund, it earns interest pursuant to the Treasury Department market-based rate that was in effect on the date that the obligor had posted the bond. When the bond money is refunded, the check should include the interest accrued in addition to the bond amount that was paid.
If you have obtained legal status, the conditions of the bond will have been met, and the bond will then be canceled, triggering a refund. You will also be eligible for a bond refund if you have been deported. An experienced immigration bond refund lawyer can assist you throughout the entire process to make sure that you are following all of the required steps.
When the bond is canceled, ICE will send a form called the ICE Form I-391, Notice Immigration Bond Canceled, to both the obligor and the DHS Debt Management Center in Vermont. Since the form will be mailed to the obligor at the mailing address that they provided when posting the bond, it is crucial that they inform ICE of any change in address that occurs after that time. This can be done by filling out ICE Form I-333, Obligor Change of Address.
To obtain the bond refund, you will need to gather three documents. These documents include the Form I-391 that you received from ICE, the original receipt from the payment of the bond (ICE Form I-305) and also the bond contract (ICE Form I-352). The bond contract is not always required, but it is helpful to include it.
If you have misplaced the original receipt from the payment of the bond, it will not be an issue. You will just need to obtain Form I-395, Affidavit in Lieu of Lost Receipt of United States Immigration and Naturalization Service for Collateral Accepted as Security, and have the form notarized. This will be accepted as a valid replacement for the original receipt.
As a condition of the bond, the bonded individual typically must appear during immigration court hearings and attend ICE ERO appointments. If that person fails to do so, they become in breach of the bond terms, in addition to becoming a fugitive.
If this happens, ICE will send the obligor a notice via certified mail demanding that the obligor present the bonded individual at the ICE Field Office at a specified date and time. This notice is called ICE Form I-340, Notice to Obligor to Deliver Alien. Generally, the date is set out a few weeks so that the obligor can have an opportunity to locate the bonded individual.
If the obligor does not show with the bonded individual at the designated date and time, then the obligor will receive an ICE Form I-323, Notice of Immigration Bond Breached. In these cases, the obligor will not receive a bond refund. For this reason, it is essential to carefully comply with the terms and conditions of the bond. If you have questions or concerns, your immigration bond refund lawyer can help.
If the obligor receives an ICE Form I-323, Notice of Immigration Bond Breached, and has since discovered that the bonded individual has actually self-deported, they may still be able to obtain the bond refund. In order to obtain the refund in the case of a voluntary departure, the obligor will need to seek rescission of the bond breach, as well as restatement of the bond and bond cancelation. The obligor is required to show verification of departure from USA, such as a stamped passport, boarding pass, or a travel confirmation.
Additionally, the bonded person should also report to the U.S. Embassy or consulate in their home country and request an ICE Form I-210, Voluntary Departure and Verification of Departure. This form will be sent to the DHS/ICE Headquarters Office. The bonded person should then request a copy of the document and submit the copy to the obligor.
If the conditions of the bond have been met and you want to obtain a bond refund, you may be wondering if you need to hire an immigration bond refund lawyer. While it is possible to obtain a refund on your own, in general, the process will be much easier with an experienced immigration bond refund lawyer handling the matter. Even if you attempt the process on your own and find yourself at a dead-end in the process, an attorney can help get things back on track so that you can obtain your bond refund.
The attorneys at Feiner & Lavy P.C., Attorneys at Law, have decades of experience successfully assisting their clients in obtaining immigration bond refunds. We know the ins and outs of the immigration bond refund process and can help you every step of the way. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you obtain your bond refund.
©2020 Feiner & Lavy, P.C. All Rights Reserved.