Learning that a loved one has been arrested and detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is a mentally and emotionally exhausting experience. While many are concerned with the safety of the immigrant during this time, they are often relieved when they are able to be released through an immigration bond. Despite the fact that these bonds can be extremely costly and can wreak havoc on a family’s finances, many opt to pay them anyway. This is largely due to the fact that they are told they will be able to receive a refund. Months after the case resolves, however, many find themselves asking: how do I get an ICE bond refund?
First and foremost, it is important to determine whether or not the cost of the ICE bond is eligible to be refunded. One of the biggest initial factors to consider is the method of payment. In most cases, loved ones pay immigration bonds directly to ICE or through an immigration bond service. If the bond was paid in full, directly at an ICE facility, it may be eligible for a refund. On the other hand, those who used an immigration bond service are likely not entitled to a refund. This is because many who use the service opt for a surety bond, which does not require payment in full. Instead, a form of collateral is provided along with a small percentage of the total bond cost. In some cases, however, immigration bond services do allow bond sponsors to pay bonds in full. If you paid in full to an immigration bonds service, it is important to contact them directly as policies can vary widely from one organization to another.
For those who still believe they are eligible to get an ICE bond refund, another factor to consider is whether or not the case has concluded. The outcome of the case is not important and does not affect refund eligibility. It must be finalized in court; however, to generate the proper paperwork and to end the conditions of the bond. Sometimes, it can take several months for the ICE bond refund process to begin once an Immigration Judge (IJ) has made a final ruling. Additionally, consider whether or not the immigrant abided by the terms of their bond. If they failed to appear in court or depart the county as instructed, for example, the money paid will be forfeited and the immigrant is likely to be arrested and detained once again.
If after a careful evaluation, you still believe that you are entitled to an ICE bond refund, you must wait to receive a Notice of Bond Cancellation form from ICE. If it has been several months and you have not received it, ensure that ICE has the most current address for you on file. From there, you will need to send this form, along with the original immigration bond receipt, to the Debt Management Center. After a few months, you should receive an ICE bond refund check in the mail.
Keep in mind that it is notoriously difficult to receive an ICE bond refund from ICE. Because of this, many who are experienced with the agency recommend working with an immigration bond service instead to simplify the entire process from start to finish.
Want to learn more about getting an ICE bond refund?? Contact US Immigration Bonds now to learn how we can help get your loved one home fast.