immigration bond process

How does the immigration bond process work?

One of the most commonly asked questions I hear is “how does the immigration bond process work?”

Many people make the mistake of confusing the immigration bonding process with that of traditional bail bonding. While these two processes are similar, they are also very different. In order to clear up any confusion or misunderstanding of the immigration bond process, I have outlined the process in detail in this blog. That being said, you can always still call the Center for Immigration Assistance directly if you have any specific questions, (844) 910-2342.

  • immigration releaseCash bond – The detainee’s friends or family can pay the full bond amount directly to ICE, and that money will be refunded once the detainee has attended all mandatory hearings in immigration court. The cash bond can be paid by cash, money order, Cashier’s check, or U.S. bonds or notes.

  • Surety bond – A detained immigrant’s family can also use the services of a licensed immigration bond company. In this type of transaction, the family will deposit the full amount of the bond with the bond company. This money will be held for the life of the case. Upon completion of the case and appearance at all court hearings, the money will be refunded back to the family immediately, less a nominal administration fee paid to the bonding company. Going with an agent you will have more flexibility in payment options and the process is significantly quicker.

    If you choose to utilize the services of an immigration bonding agent and post the bond through a surety company, they will request certain items of information. This includes:

    • Name and A-number of the alien;
    • Location of the alien’s detention;
    • Address and phone of location where the alien will reside after release from detention;
    • Your contact information; and
    • A copy of the NTA served on the alien

    Once you have provided this information, the surety will discuss the collateral it will require to post the bond. Examples of collateral that may be required are cash or a lien on real property.

    Once you have provided the required collateral, the surety will contact ICE to post the delivery bond and secure the alien’s release from detention. This can all be done electronically because the surety bond agent has the ability to post bonds in this way.

    As a general rule, if someone is in immigration custody during the immigration bond process, they will be eligible for release if the authorities determine that they are not a “flight-risk” and they are not a “danger to the community.”

    If a person is eligible for bond, the process should be pursued immediately, as sometimes a removal proceeding can be a long process, sometimes years.

    An immigration bond is money paid as surety that an alien under removal proceedings by the US government will appear at all court proceedings; it is insurance that an alien will not disappear while their case is pending. It is similar to the way bail bonds works in a criminal case.

    If you have any questions regarding the immigration bond process, you can call the Center for Immigration Assistance at (844) 910-2342. You can also check out our immigration bond resources page that has step by step of how the process works.


    Start by searching for your loved one to see where they are being held. When searching by name, the detainee's first and last names are required and must be an exact match and select the detainee's country of birth.

    Author: Doug Wood

    Mr. Wood grew up in the Tidewater (Norfolk/Virginia Beach) area of Virginia. After earning a BA in History from the College of William and Mary in 1963, he attended the Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He received his commission in March, 1964, and went on the serve five years on active duty. He then enrolled in the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at William and Mary, and graduated in 1972. Mr. Wood spent his legal career with a variety of federal government agencies. The last 11 of this were with the (then) Immigration and Naturalization Service. For the last five of these years he was the lead attorney on all matters relating to immigration bonds. Upon his retirement in 2001, he began a career as a consultant to a number of immigration bond companies. Although retired from the bar, he continues to provide consulting services to immigration bond companies around the country.

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