8_PERSONAL SERVICES_DEPORTATION AND REMOVAL_VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE

 

If there is no other relief from deportation, you should apply for voluntary departure from the United States. There is no formal application for voluntary departure. It is usually made orally to the immigration judge.

 

There are 4 different ways that Voluntary Departure may be granted.

 

1. Pre-Hearing Voluntary Departure by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

 

DHS may grant voluntary departure and extensions up to a total of 120 days to a foreign national who agrees to depart the U.S. at his/her own expense instead of being placed in proceedings. Certain conditions may apply such as the posting of a bond, continued detention until the foreign national is ready to depart and departure under safeguards. If removal proceedings have started, DHS can ask the Immigration Judge to terminate proceedings and then grant 120 days. If the alien fails to depart, he/she is ineligible for relief for 10 years and subject to civil penalties.

 

2. Pre-Hearing Voluntary Departure by the Immigration Judge (Agency: Executive Office of Immigration Review, EOIR):

 

The Immigration Judge may grant Voluntary Departure up to 120 days if the foreign national:

 

  • Requests it prior to or at the master calendar hearing at which the case is initially set for a merits hearing;
  • Requests no other relief;
  • Concedes removability;
  • Waives appeal, and
  • Has not been convicted of an aggravated felony and is not deportable under the security and related grounds of the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 237(a)(4) such as:
    • Espionage;
    • Sabotage;
    • Endangering public safety or national security;
    • Opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the U.S. government by force, violence, or other unlawful means;
    • Terrorist activities;
    • Foreign policy grounds where the Secretary of State has reasonable ground to believe that the presence or activities of a foreign national would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States;
    • Nazi persecution, genocide, or the commission of any act of torture of extrajudicial killing;
    • Severe violations of religious freedom.

 

3. By Stipulation—At any time prior to the completion of the final hearing, the foreign national and the ICE Assistant Chief Counsel (Department of Homeland Security prosecutor) can stipulate to 120 days.

 

4. At Conclusion of Removal Hearing.

 

The foreign national will receive no more than 60 days to voluntary depart the United States and must be eligible as follows:

 

  • The foreign national has been physically present in the United States for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the date he/she was served with the notice to appear;
  • The alien is, and has been, a person of good moral character for at least 5 years immediately preceding the alien’s application for voluntary departure;
  • Must not be deportable as an aggravated felon or terrorist.
  • The foreign national has established by clear and convincing evidence that he/she has the financial means to depart the United States and intends to do so.
  • Must have the financial ability to post a bond (no less than $500) designated by the Immigration Judge within 5 days of the Immigration Judge’s order.

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