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630-932-9100
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Mevorah Law Offices LLC
630-932-9100
DuPage County Attorneys

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900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

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134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

ST. CHARLES

333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600

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Phone: 815-727-4500

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Phone: 630-932-9100

The Best of a Bad Situation: Voluntary Departure

Posted on in Immigration
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expired visa, foreign national, immigration judge, Mevorah Law Offices LLC, order of removal, voluntary departureRemoval proceedings are one of the most terrifying situations a person can experience, especially if you have family and friends in the United States. If your visa is expired or if you find yourself otherwise ineligible to stay in the U.S., there are steps you can take to make your life easier, even if you cannot stay in the country. Sometimes, your attorney may advise you to accept voluntary departure, to make things easier at a later date.

Voluntary departure is a process in which a foreign national voluntarily leaves the country, either without an order of removal being issued at all, or, if given the option, before a final order of removal is issued. It is an option for those who are appearing before an immigration judge, and do not think they will win the right to stay in the United States.

Usually, if voluntary departure is granted, you will be given 120 days to wind up your affairs and depart. There is a provision in the law, however, which allows a waiver of the 120 days if the foreign national is receiving medical treatment in the country.

There are a few reasons why voluntary departure is a good idea. The primary reason is that if you are issued a final removal order from an immigration judge, you may be subject to a bar on re-entering the United States for up to ten years, depending on the circumstances of your case. If you voluntarily depart before any order goes on the books, you will not have an automatic bar.

Eligibility

Eligibility for voluntary departure is usually determined by a set of criteria, depending on when you ask for it. The criteria are different if you request voluntary departure before, during, or after removal proceedings.

If you request voluntary departure before the beginning of removal proceedings, you must:

  • Concede that you are removable under the applicable law;
  • Waive all other possible requests for relief;

  • Waive any appeal of any issue;

  • Not have been convicted of any aggravated felony or be any security risk; and

  • Show you have the financial ability to voluntarily depart.

Voluntary departure granted before a hearing usually provides 120 days before an applicant is required to leave. If you request voluntary departure during or after removal proceedings, when USCIS has already gone to the trouble of conducting a hearing, the requirements are different. After a hearing, you must:

  • Show physical presence in the U.S. for one year after a Notice to Appear was issued;
  • Show clear and convincing evidence that you have the financial ability and intent to depart;

  • Pay a bond (usually $500 if required);

  • Show you had good moral character for the five years before the application; and

  • Prove you have a valid travel document in order to return to your home country.

If voluntary departure is granted after a hearing, it usually only grants 60 days before an applicant must depart, and is usually at the foreign national’s own expense.

If you are in need of more information on voluntary departure, we can help. Please contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC in DuPage County, IL today.

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Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 35 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Joliet, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

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