Immigration bonds are an expense that many families have no way of anticipating until it becomes a necessity to secure the freedom of a loved one. Unfortunately, these bonds can be costly and can be a financial burden during an already stressful situation. While there is no way to avoid the high costs of bond, many families are entitled to receive a refund for the money paid to ICE after the immigration case is resolved. Learn how to get an immigration bond refund from ICE:
Immigration bond refunds from ICE are notoriously difficult to obtain. Although the process may seem straightforward, those who have paid bonds experience a plethora of issues or delays when it comes to getting their money back. Before pursuing further action to obtain this money, bond sponsors should first ensure that they qualify for the refund.
To obtain a refund from ICE for the cost of an immigration bond, it is essential that sponsors consider how the bond was paid. Those who used an immigration bond service to purchase a surety bond are typically not eligible for a refund, unless they paid the money in full. Despite this, the refund in this case would be issued by the bond service themselves instead of ICE. Most sponsors in these scenarios do not experience delays in receiving a refund, as the money is held in escrow and then released after the bond is canceled.
If the sponsor paid the bond in full at a local ICE facility, they may be eligible to receive a refund but this is only one factor to consider. The cost of an immigration bond is only able to be refunded if the immigrant abides by all of the terms of their bond. If they failed to appear in court or otherwise broke the stipulations of their bond, the bond will typically be revoked and the money will be lost. If the immigrant did abide by these terms, it is also important to note that their case must be resolved completely before refunds are issued.
The outcome of the immigration case does not influence whether a bond is refunded or not, however, so even sponsors with loved ones who were deported as a result are eligible to receive a refund from ICE. Once the case concludes, ICE will send what is known as a Notice of Bond Cancellation (or a Form I-391) to the address they have on file for the sponsor. This form is required, along with the original bond receipt (or Form I-352) and should then be forwarded to the Debt Management Center at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). At this point, the refund process is left up to the discretion and the timeline of the DHS. Some people receive a refund within a few months while others fail to receive funds, even after more than a year has passed.
In this case, it can be difficult to get a refund from ICE but sponsors should reach out to the Debt Management Center to check the status of their refund and to inquire about any potential issues that may have been encountered during processing. Because many people experience these problems and delays in receiving an immigration bond refund from ICE, it is recommended that sponsors use an immigration bond service in the future. This can streamline the refund process to alleviate financial stress and frustration that results from chasing down ICE refunds.
Have questions about how immigration bond refunds work? Reach out to US Immigration Bonds today to learn more.