What Are the Benefits of Voluntary Departure?
If you or someone you know has been detained by immigration authorities you may be wondering what options you have. Depending upon your situation, voluntary departure may be in your best interest. Leaving the US voluntarily permits an individual who is otherwise removable to depart from the country at his or her own expense within a designated amount of time in order to avoid a final order of removal. You may be asking yourself why anyone would leave voluntarily without fighting their removal. If you don’t have much of a case or any defense at all to removal, voluntary departure may be the only form of relief obtainable to you.
Leaving voluntarily has several advantages over a removal order. If you are issued a removal order you may be barred from re-entering the US for up to 10 years. Additionally, you may be unprotected to civil and criminal penalties if you go into without proper authorization. however, if you voluntarily depart, you will not be barred from legally reentering in the future.
If leaving voluntarily is obtainable in your case and you decide to take it, make sure you comply with the requirements. There are meaningful penalties for failing to depart under a voluntary departure order. Voluntary departure may be applied for prior to the Master Calendar hearing or at the conclusion of proceedings. You should consult with an experienced Phoenix immigration attorney in calculating whether voluntary departure is an option obtainable to you.
Qualifications for Voluntary Departure before the Conclusion of Proceedings
In order to qualify for leaving voluntarily before the conclusion the hearing, you must:
1. Waive or withdraw all other requests for relief
2. Concede removability
3. Waive allurement of all issues
4. Have not been convicted of an aggravated felony and you are not a security risk
5. Show clear and convincing evidence that you intend and have the financial ability to depart
If you meet the aforementioned requirements, an Immigration estimate may grant a voluntary departure period of up to 120 days at the time of the Master Calendar hearing.
Qualifications for Voluntary Departure after the Conclusion of Proceedings
In order to qualify for voluntary departure after the conclusion of proceedings, you must:
1. Show physical presence for one year prior to the date the Notice to Appear is issued
2. Show clear and convincing evidence that you intend and have no financial ability to depart
3. Pay a bond (if estimate requires)
4. Show good moral character for 5 years prior to the application
5. Present to DHS a valid passport or other travel document sufficient to show lawful entry into your country, unless already in the possession of DHS or not needed.
If these requirements are satisfied you may be granted voluntary departure for up to 60 days.
If you have been detained by ICE or know someone who has you should consult with an immigration attorney to determine whether this is the best option.