An immigration bond is an expense that families do not budget or prepare for prior to the arrest of a loved one. Unfortunately, arrests made by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency are almost always unexpected and sudden. This leaves families scrambling to quickly raise the funds needed to set their loved ones free from ICE custody. In turn, they may resort to selling belongings, borrowing money, or taking out pricey loans. The promise of securing an immigration bond refund in Florida always typically aids in the financial decisions that families make at this time.
While it is possible to get an immigration bond refund in Florida, it is not always as simple as it seems. For starters, to get a refund, the immigrant’s case must be fully concluded within the court system. Although the outcome of the case does not make a difference in refund eligibility, it is important to understand that it can take many months or more than a year for a case to be fully resolved. Additionally, in order to be eligible for a refund, the immigrant must fully abide by all of the terms of their bond agreement. For example, they must appear at all court hearings as directed with a delivery bond or they must leave the country within the timeframe specified if they have a departure bond. If these, or other stipulations outlined as a term of bond are broken, the bond will be voided, and the money will be forfeited. This means that a refund will not be issued under any circumstances.
Furthermore, an immigrant bond sponsor must consider the method of payment that they originally used to pay the bond. In some cases, sponsors visit an ICE facility directly and pay the bond in full. This does enable a sponsor to be eligible for a refund; however, it is difficult to receive a refund from ICE directly. Even when all of the proper forms and paperwork are submitted to the proper channels, it can take months or over a year to receive a refund check in the mail. Many also run into complications that seem to extend the process indefinitely. To avoid this pitfall, most sponsors who have experience with ICE recommended using an immigration bond service instead.
Those who opted to pay using an immigration bond service in Florida may be eligible for a refund if they paid the bond in full. Many bond services specialize in providing what is known as surety bonds. With surety bonds, sponsors only pay a small portion of the full bond. This is a service fee and is not actually applied to the bond itself. Because of this, no refunds are issued with this method. Those who used a bond service to pay in full and simplify the process of working with ICE, however, are eligible for an immigration bond refund in Florida. Typically, the funds are held in escrow and can then be quickly released once the case has concluded in court.
Want to learn more about immigration bonds in Florida or about how to get a bond refund? Reach out to the experts at US Immigration Bonds today.