Voluntary Departure Requirements
Q: What is voluntary departure?
- Voluntary departure permits an individual to depart from the country at her own expense within a designated amount of time in order to avoid a final order of removal.
Q: When should you not take voluntary departure?
- Do not request voluntary departure unless you are confident that you will be able to leave in a timely manner.
- Penalties include civil penalties and ineligibility for several forms of relief for 10 years.
Q: Why is voluntary departure preferable?
- If the individual voluntarily departs within the time ordered by the court, she will not be barred from legally reentering in the future.
- If an individual is issued a removal order she may be barred from reentering the United States for up to ten years and may be subject to civil and criminal penalties if she enters without proper authorization.
Q: When can you apply for voluntary departure?
- Prior to the Master Calendar hearing or at the conclusion of proceedings
Q: What are the Requirements for Voluntary Departure – Before the Conclusion of the Hearing?
- If the application for voluntary departure is prior to, or at the Master Calendar hearing, the individual must show that he:
1. Waives or withdraws all other requests for relief;
2. Concedes removability;
3. Waives appeal of all issues;
4. Has not been convicted of an aggravated felony and is not a security risk; and
5. Shows clear and convincing evidence that he intends and has the financial ability to depart.
Q: How long is the voluntary departure if granted before the conclusion of the hearing?
- The Immigration Judge may grant a voluntary departure period of up to 120 days at the time of the Master Calendar hearing.
Q: What are the Requirements for Voluntary Departure – After the Conclusion of the Hearing?
- An individual may also apply for voluntary departure after the conclusion of proceedings, provided that the individual meets the following requirements:
1. Shows physical presence for one year prior to the date the Notice to Appear is issued;
2. Shows clear and convincing evidence that she intends and has the financial ability to depart;
3. Pays a bond (of at least $500) if the Judge so requires;
4. Shows good moral character for five years prior to the application; and
5. Presents to the DHS a valid passport or other travel document sufficient to show lawful entry into her country, unless such document is already in the possession of the DHS or is not needed in order to return to her country.
Q: How long is the voluntary departure if granted after the conclusion of the hearing?
- If the applicant establishes these requirements, the Immigration Judge may grant voluntary departure for a period of up to 60 days.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~To find out more about the basics of immigration, visit our Frequently Asked Questions section. Before requesting voluntary departure an alien in deportation proceedings should consult with an experienced immigration attorney. If you are in need of an attorney in Washington, DC specializing in immigration law and services, contact us now. Beach-Oswald Immigration Lawyers will confidently navigate your case through the complex US immigration law process. We win about 90 percent of our cases. Let us help you get that U.S. visa, green card, work visa, citizenship, or asylum.