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A bond is what you pay the court to ensure that you will show up to your hearings and comply with all final orders of your case. If you do comply, you should get your money back. There are immigration bonds for immigration cases and separate criminal bonds for criminal offenses.

Criminal bonds

  • If you are charged with a criminal offense and are undocumented, you may end up in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody depending on the nature of the offense.
  • If you are in criminal custody and pay the criminal bond, you may be transferred directly to ICE custody, depending on the nature of the offense that you are charged with.

Immigration bonds

  • If you are eligible for a bond, a bond may be set automatically.
  • If no bond has been set for you or if you can’t afford the bond that was set, then you can request a bond hearing. At the bond hearing, the immigration judge makes a decision to give you a bond or not, or to lower the amount of your current bond.
  • You may not be eligible for a bond if you already have a deportation order, or if you have certain criminal convictions, or if the government thinks you are a threat.

At a bond hearing the judge will consider things such as:

  • Whether you have any criminal convictions.
  • Your length of time in the United States.
  • Your family and community ties.
  • Your employment history.
  • Any other positive equities.
  • Whether you are a flight risk.
  • Whether the government believes that you are a national security risk.
  • Whether or not you are likely to win your case.

If it seems that you are eligible to stay in the country, you are more likely to get a lower bond.

None of the information in this resource should be considered legal advice. Please speak to an immigration attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representative about your particular case.