What is an Immigration Bond?

If a friend or loved one has been arrested by ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be deported.  There is help. If someone is undocumented, they still have rights and they most likely will be able to post a bond like everyone else and be released.  

As with any arrest, it’s important that the defendant doesn’t run away or argue with the arresting officers.  He or she will be brought to a federal processing center to be processed. An immigration judge from Homeland Security will set the amount to be paid for bail and a friend or family member can put up the money or use the services of a bail bondsman with experience in handling immigration bonds.  Instead of the bondsman assuring the court that the defendant will show up for future court dates, they are assuring the Department of Homeland Security.

They may release the defendant on personal recognizance if he or she has strong ties to the community and no criminal record.  In most cases, you would be eligible for bond if you are not a danger to society or are considered a flight risk. They also may not allow you to post bond if they feel you are being uncooperative or you’ve been deported previously.  

You may be denied bond by ICE but you are eligible for a bond hearing at which a judge will consider your case for bond eligibility or to ask for the amount that ICE gave to be lowered.  To do this, ask the judge that you first appear in front of to grant you a loud hearing.

When you have your bond hearing, you should bring a sponsor letter.  A sponsor is someone who is willing to take responsibility for you if you are released on bond.  The sponsor letter should include the sponsor’s citizenship status, how the sponsor knows you, where you will be living including street address (no P.O. boxes) and how they will support you if you are released into their custody.   

You should also bring any supporting documentation that you may have that shows the judge that you have strong ties to the community.  Examples of this are tax records, letters of support from friends and family members, family photos of holidays or events, letters from religious organizations, and proof of insurance.  For any supporting letters, make sure to include a photocopy of their identification such as a driver’s license or passport.


There are four types of immigration bonds:

Delivery Bond―The most common, this bond allows money to be put up to ensure that the defendant will show up for all upcoming hearings.  This means defendants can spend their time at their residence rather than in jail.

Voluntary Departure Bond―This bond gives the defendant the opportunity to leave the country voluntarily before a specified date.  If the defendant abides by this, the bond money is returned.

Order of Supervision Bond―If the detainee is in jail awaiting deportation and there are long delays in the deportation process such as the country of origin denying entry, the detainee may obtain a Supervision Bond that guarantees the detainee will follow the bond agreement.

Public Charge Bond―This bond ensures that the immigrant does not accept any public assistance while in the country.  This bond remains in place until the defendant leaves the country, becomes a naturalized citizen, or dies.


Remember, if you are granted a bond, that is not the end of your case.  It merely means that you are allowed to stay out of jail while you await your court dates.  It’s very important that you show up for every one of your scheduled appearances. Failing to do so is against the law and won’t help your case for staying in the country.

If you or a loved one has been arrested by ICE on an immigration charge, Mercy Bail Bonds can help.  Our expert bondsmen are experienced in immigration bonds as well as state and federal bonds. We work hard to get you out of jail and back to your family as quickly as possible.  Our full-service agency is open 24/7 and has flexible financing available. Call Mercy Bail Bonds today at (727)856-7775.