A voluntary departure is an option for aliens subject to removal. It has to be applied for prior to or during deportation proceedings, in order to avoid detention by the INS and/or deportation. It can be done afterwards, but then the chances of being approved for voluntary departure are slimmer.
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Listed below are legal services that are often needed by people seeking a voluntary departure:
Voluntary departure is meant for ordinary cases such as a denied green card applicant whose work visa has recently expired. If deportation proceedings are about to begin, the applicant will have an easy way to leave the country. But it requires the applicant to waive appeal rights, admit the DHS is right about its decision to seek removal, and withdraw all other filings that seek to prolong the applicant's stay.
Voluntary departure has its own eligibility requirements. Applicants have to have been present in the US for the past year. You have to show travel documents and the financial means to depart, and then post a bond for an amount determined by the court. The applicant will be unable to apply for reentering for 5 years, or 10 years if a court was involved.
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Did you know?
Voluntary departure can be used by the spouse of a permanent resident to delay deportation.
If the permanent resident spouse has applied for citizenship, then the other spouse can delay deportation using voluntary departure. Once the citizenship comes through, the citizen can then seek to have the spouse's status changed to permanent resident.