Voluntary Departure- Essential Immigration Attorney Tips

If you are in trouble with the US immigration services and facing removal or deportation, and also don’t have any means of defense, you may request voluntary departure to avoid some future immigration consequences.

A specialized immigration attorney will be able to answer most of your questions best but know that this solution is considered ideal. So what is voluntary departure? Basically, if you have no legal means of remaining in the United States, you are legally entitled to request the Department of Homeland Security or an Immigration Judge to allow you to leave voluntarily and avoid the stain of a removal order on your record.

Below are a few immigration lawyer provided tips on the requirements to qualify for the relief, and when this alternative is a good idea.

  • Also known as voluntary deportation or return, this procedure will allow a person to leave US grounds on their own expenses and avoid any consequences associated with immigration deportation. This can be done under some special circumstances and you can request it only before appearing in court. This request can be done directly to the Homeland Security department. Also, you can request it from an immigration judge, during your first court appearance, or, in some cases, at the conclusion of the immigration court proceedings.

How do you qualify?

The Department for Homeland Security essentially has the authority to allow your voluntary departure before any court proceedings before an immigration judge can start. An important thing to remember is that qualifying becomes more difficult after you have been found removable at the conclusion of the proceedings.

As an immigration attorney will tell you, the basic requirements include: you should not have any terrorism or felony convictions, you should prove that you actually intend to depart the US and aren’t just using this as an opportunity to get rid of the authorities’ scrutiny. In this case, the law has it that you must also withdraw any other applications for relief, removal or cancellation and waive your right to appeal the court’s decision on your case. In case you request voluntary departure at the end of court proceedings, a judge will actually consider all your case’s facts and will also balance your overall conduct during hearing procedures.

There are a series of additional requirements and you must be able to prove that: you have been on US ground for a full year, you have the means to depart on your own, you have showed good moral character for the past 5 years.

Although this is basically advertised as a privilege, it is crucial to understand the different effects this relief can have on future entry into the United States. As these effects are not immediately visible or apparent to someone who is not legally experienced, you need to seek help from an experienced immigration attorney to help clarify these issues.

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