If a non-citizen is eligible for bond, the non-citizen may give the government money in exchange for being released from detention during the time that the case is pending.

Note that with respect to the posting of bond United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“USICE”) requires that the person posting the bond be either a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident. In some instances, although non-citizens are informed that they have a bond, ICE supervisors have revoked or increased the bond before the money is posted, making a bond motion necessary before the immigration court. The person posting the bond must bring proof of citizenship or residency and a cashier’s check or money order made payable to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The bond money acts as security for the government to ensure that the non-citizen will appear in court and, consequently, it is refunded at the end of the case so long as the non-citizen appears in court and complies with all the other conditions of release. For instance, if voluntary departure from the U.S. is ordered by the Court, the money will be refunded after the non-citizen has left the U.S. In some instances when voluntary departure is granted, the Court may order that additional funds be posted as security to ensure that the non-citizen departs the United States.

Bond Motions in Immigration Court

A bond determination is initially made by a USICE officer after an initial interview and can later be challenged in immigration court, but it may only be challenged once. In many instances where the non-citizen has been convicted of a criminal offense, USICE will not issue a bond and the person will remain detained throughout the case because of “mandatory detention.” See, Mandatory Detention.

If the USICE officer refused to issue a bond or issues a bond that is too high, it is recommended that your deportation defense lawyer file a motion for bond in the immigration court. This can be done even before a Notice to Appear is issued. However, access to the immigration court is limited by the large number of cases; therefore, the motion cannot usually be heard until 7 – 21 days from the date it is filed.