Everything you need to know about
Voluntary Departure

If you are an immigrant and you think that you are facing the risk of deportation, one option to avoid a deportation record is the voluntary departure.

Immigration officers may allow aliens apprehended at the border to depart voluntarily in lieu of removal proceedings. When an immigrant decides to do a voluntary departure, there is no need for immigration officials to deport or remove an individual, so they will not record the deportation. Voluntary departure is when immigrants decide to leave the country of their own accord rather than being deported or waiting for an order of removal.

Voluntary Departure

A mother and her child checking in before boarding the flight for voluntary departure

Photograph by Pacific AirForce

There are several reasons to do a voluntary departure. People who have been deported and don’t participate in a voluntary departure cannot apply for a new immigrant visa, nonimmigrant visa, adjustment of status, and another admission without complying with legal restrictions including a wait time of 5-20 years. Any attempt to reenter the United States after being removed or deported is considered a felony, which will permanently bar you from entering the United States. This restriction does not apply if you have departed voluntarily. After this, you should be able to re-enter the United States and apply for a new visa or adjust your status in a much shorter time.

“Voluntary departure is when immigrants decide to leave the country of their own”

If you have entered the United States legally and have a proper case to defend your right to stay in the country, then voluntary departure may not be necessary. Voluntary departure may be the best move if you do not feel you have a legal right to stay such as with immigrants who have a felony or have entered the United States illegally. Because this is the last resort, it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to see if you have a right to challenge your deportation or if voluntary reentry is right for you.

Additional Resources:

  1. Deportations
  2. Immigration Detention
  3. Expedited Removal
  4. Voluntary Departure
  5. Immigration Bond
  6. Asylum
  7. Gender-Based Asylum
  8. LGBT Asylum
  9. Withholding of Removal
  10. Convention Against Torture (CAT)

Is any of your friends or family in deportation or removal proceedings?
Contact our office for as soon as possible.

(323) 803 7147

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+1 (323) 803 7147

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