Voluntary Departure


Voluntary departure provides a limited period of time (up to 120 days), within which an alien subject to removal can remain in the United States. By the time this period expires, the person must leave the United States at his/her own expense (as opposed to being deported at the expense of the United States government, which would cover only transportation expenses). On the positive side, voluntary departure allows the person to avoid the removal order being entered into his/her record and to choose the date of the departure, provided that it falls within the granted period.

NJ Immigration Lawyer Marc Feldman defends against Deportation and Removal in Immigration Court.  He helps to cancel removal & to adjust status.

An alien must request voluntary departure prior to or at the scheduled hearing of his/her case. He/she must concede removability and waive appeal of all issues. The government may permit the alien voluntarily to depart the United States if the Immigration Judge enters an order granting voluntary departure and finds that (1) the alien has been physically present in the United States for a period of at least 1 year immediately preceding the date the notice to appear at the removal hearing was served; (2) the alien is, and has been, a person of good moral character for at least 5 years immediately preceding the alien’s application for voluntary departure; (3) the alien is not deportable as an aggravated felon or on security grounds; and (4) the alien has established by clear and convincing evidence that he/she has the means to depart the United States and intends to do so (“the clear and convincing evidence” of the means to depart includes presentation by the alien of a passport or other travel documentation sufficient to assure lawful entry into the country to which the alien is departing).

Voluntary departure is discretionary: the Immigration Judge must balance the alien’s adverse factors, especially his/her immigration history, against the favorable factors. Previously deported aliens and those who were granted voluntary departure at some point within the last 10 years and failed to depart within the period allowed may not be granted voluntary departure. Additionally, the Immigration Judge may impose such conditions as he/she deems necessary to ensure the alien’s timely departure from the United States, including the posting of a voluntary departure bond to be canceled upon proof that the alien has departed the United States within the time specified.

Contact immigration lawyer Marc P. Feldman through this Web site to schedule a consultation on immigration and naturalization laws pertaining to Immigration Court matters.

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