Voluntary departure is the most common form of relief from removal and may be
granted by Immigration Judges, as well as the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS). Voluntary departure avoids the stigma of formal removal by allowing an
otherwise removable alien to depart the United States at his or her own personal
expense and return to his or her home country, or another country if the
individual can secure an entry there. Immigration Judges will provide aliens
information on the availability of this form of relief when taking pleadings.
It is important to note that aliens granted voluntary departure must depart
within the time specified by the Immigration Judge. Although an Immigration
Judge has the discretion to set a shorter deadline, aliens granted voluntary
departure prior to the completion of removal proceedings must depart within 120
days, and those granted such relief at the conclusion of removal proceedings
must depart within 60 days. In addition, in order to avoid being penalized for
choosing to appeal a decision rather than depart, the BIA usually will extend an
earlier grant of voluntary departure for 30 days. As with other forms of
discretionary relief, certain individuals will be found ineligible for voluntary
departure, and those granted voluntary departure who fail to depart are subject
to fines and a 10-year period of ineligibility for other forms of relief.
Should you face deportation call Miller|Conway immediately as time is of the essence. Our Immigration Practice Group will fight hard for you and your loved ones and seek voluntary departure as a last resort in the removal process. Call for a free consultation or visit our contact page.