If an alien you know was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), you may have the opportunity to secure their release by posting a bond.

What Is a Bond?

A bond is a contractual agreement between the person posting the bond and ICE. The purpose of the bond is to release the alien from detention and provide ICE with a way to ensure the alien will return for a hearing, interview or deportation. There are two types of bonds:

  • Delivery Bond – A delivery bond is used to ensure the alien shows up for a future hearing or interview. The bond will be at least $1500 and sufficient to compel the alien’s appearance.
  • Voluntary Departure Bond – A voluntary departure bond is used to ensure the alien departs the United States by a specified date. The amount of the bond will be at least $500 and sufficient to compel the alien’s departure.

How Do I Post a Bond?

Once ICE decides the alien is eligible for a delivery or departure bond you may post a cash or surety bond.

  • Cash – A cash bond must be paid by you, in full, directly to ICE using one of the following: cash, cashier’s check, money order or U.S. Bonds or Notes.
  • Surety – A surety bond is issued through a private company that will charge you a fee and possibly require collateral. The company will pay the bond directly to ICE.

When you submit the bond at the ICE office you will be required to provide information about yourself including your social security number and address.

Can I Lower the Amount of the Bond?

Within 30 days of ICE’s bond determination, you may appeal the bond amount or conditions of the bond.

How Do I Receive a Refund for My Bond?

When the bond is cancelled, ICE will contact you and instruct you to apply for a refund of the principal and interest.

What Happens if the Alien Does Not Appear?

If the alien fails to appear for a hearing, interview or deportation, the person or company who posted the bail is considered to have breached the contract. The person or company may lose the money or collateral used to post the bond. Interest on a cash bond will be refunded.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Post a Bond for a Detained Alien?

Posting a bond for a friend or loved one may be a financial burden. An immigration attorney can help prepare an appeal of a bond’s amount or conditions. If you are experiencing difficulties receiving a refund of your bond, or interest on the principal, an immigration lawyer can help submit a claim and get you the money you are entitled to.