Voluntary Departure in the U.S.

Who is Eligible?

If you are facing deportation from the United States, you may be eligible to make a request for voluntary departure. Requests for voluntary departure can be made either before, during, or after removal proceedings.

Depending on the individual circumstances of your case, voluntary departure may be a good option because of the following:

  • It can help you avoid time-consuming and costly litigation
  • It prevents an order of deportation from appearing on your immigration record
  • It does not bar you from reapplying for visas and returning to the United States at a later date

Consult with a New Jersey immigration lawyer to see which option may be best for your case. I have experience helping immigrants throughout New Jersey, so call my office for a free consultation!

Requests Made at the Start of Proceedings

At this stage, making a request for voluntary departure means that you forever forfeit the right to apply for any kind of immigration relief, such as adjustment of status or political asylum. Before any decisions are made, this is an excellent time to consult with a lawyer who can help you determine whether there is any temporary or permanent way that you might remain in the United States. If not, a strategy can be formed that decides whether it is more beneficial to continue with court proceedings or to go ahead with a request for departure.

In order to make the request for voluntary departure at this time, you must:

  • Make the request before or at the first hearing
  • Request no other form of relief
  • Waive the right to any appeals
  • Admit that you are removable from the U.S.
  • Provide proof that you have not been convicted of a felony and that you are not deportable for reasons of national security or public safety

Requests Made During Removal Proceedings

Although this scenario is rare, the attorney for the Department of Homeland Security may agree that you should be able to receive voluntary departure. In this case, they will make motions to end your removal proceedings. Again, this is only an option for those who have not been deemed hazards to national security and who have not been convicted of aggravated felonies.

Making a Request after Removal Proceedings

If your proceedings are not going as well as expected, it may be a good idea to request voluntary departure at the end of your proceedings.

Requirements are much stricter at this stage:

  • It is required that you must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year before being served your notice to appear in court
  • You must prove that you have the financial means to leave the country within the specified time (provided by the judge)
  • You must provide a valid passport for inspection and validation
  • You must prove that you have been a person of good moral character for the past five years, and that you are not a convicted felon or threat to national security

Qualified New Jersey Immigration Attorney

The longer you wait to request your eligibility for voluntary departure, the more difficult it may be to obtain it. It is wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible to offer you advice and help you choose the best course of action for your case. The Law Offices of Simone Bertollini proudly serves many cities throughout New Jersey and can get you the help you need.

Fill out our online contact form today for a free case evaluation. Services are offered in English, Spanish, and Italian for your convenience.

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