Immigrants that are detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency must remain in one of their facilities until their immigration case concludes in court unless they are released through an immigration bond. This bond does not alter the status of their case when it is brought before an Immigration Judge (IJ), although it does provide relief from some hardships encountered after an arrest is made. Most notably, it allows immigrants to return home to their families, seek legal counsel and prepare for the possibility of being removed from the country. Because of the immense benefits, loved ones often act as immigration bond sponsors and pay large sums of money to secure their release. For many, the promise of ultimately receiving a refund for this money is a large part of this decision. After the case concludes, this leads sponsors to question, “how do I check my immigration bond status?”
Before an immigration bond sponsor can receive a refund, they must first determine if they are eligible. To receive an immigration bond refund, the sponsor first and foremost must have paid the amount of the bond in full directly to an ICE facility. Those who opted to use an immigration bond service or agent to secure the release of their loved ones are not eligible for a refund, regardless of the outcome of the case. This is because the percentage of money paid to secure a surety bond is intended as a fee for the service, not to cover the cost of the bond.
Next, the immigrant’s case must have reached a conclusion within the immigration court system. Whether they were removed from the country, departed voluntarily, or remained within the United States, the outcome does not alter eligibility for an immigration bond refund. The immigrant’s compliance with the terms of their bond; however, does affect whether the immigration bond sponsor will receive their money back. If the immigrant failed to comply with these terms, no immigration bond refund will be issued.
Those that are eligible will receive a “Notice of Bond Cancellation” (or a Form I-391) in the mail after the conclusion of the court case. This form must then be mailed to the Debt Management Center along with an I-391 notice and a copy of the bond contract. After they receive this paperwork, they will begin to process the refund. It typically takes several months for the refund process to be executed and for the immigration bond sponsor to receive a check in the mail.
If an immigration bond sponsor believes they are eligible and has not received a “Notice of Bond Cancellation”, they may question, “how do I check my immigration bond status?” To do this, it is necessary to contact the Debt Management Center. Here, sponsors can speak with an employee to receive further information on how to proceed.
Have questions about the refund process or want to learn more about securing an immigration bond for a loved one? Contact us today to explore your options.