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When Should Immigrants Consider Voluntary Departure from the U.S.?

 Posted on August 24, 2023 in Immigration

DuPage County immigration lawyerLeaving your home country and resettling in a new country can be a difficult process. You may struggle to adjust to life in the United States while working and supporting your family. To make matters worse, there are some situations where you may face deportation based on claims that you have violated immigration laws or remained in the United States illegally. As you look at your options for defending against deportation, you may want to consider whether voluntary departure would be the best choice for you. An immigration attorney can help you determine the best way to proceed.

What Is Voluntary Departure?

Voluntary departure may be an option if you are involved in removal proceedings. You may seek to leave the United States and return to your own country rather than being forced to leave by immigration officials. If your request for voluntary departure is granted, you will be able to leave the country on your own terms, although you will also be required to pay for your own travel expenses.

A request for voluntary departure can be made at the beginning of a deportation case or after a formal notice of removal is issued. In general, your request will be more likely to be granted if it is made at the beginning of your case. If you wait until after a deportation order is issued, receiving permission for voluntary departure may be more difficult.

Factors That May Affect Voluntary Departure

If you are considering voluntary departure, it is important to look at how it may affect you both right away and in the future. You will want to consider:

  • Your immigration status: If you entered the U.S. illegally, stayed after a temporary visa expired, or have taken other actions that affected your legal immigration status, voluntarily departing can help you avoid issues such as bars against re-entry. In some cases, applying for voluntary departure could help ensure that you will be eligible for visas or other forms of relief in the future.

  • Your future immigration goals: If you have a long-term goal to return to the United States legally through family sponsorship or work opportunities, departing voluntarily may help ensure that you will be able to do so.

  • Possibility of relief: If you have applied for asylum, adjustment of status, or other forms of relief that might provide a legal path to remain in the United States, voluntary departure may not be the best option for you. By discussing your case with an immigration attorney, you can make sure you are making the right decisions.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Voluntary Departure

Voluntary departure offers some benefits over forced removal. If you are granted voluntary departure, you may be able to avoid having an order of removal on your record. A deportation will generally prevent you from re-entering the United States for 10 years. By avoiding this, you will be able to apply for a new visa or other forms of relief much more quickly. You will also have more options for being able to legally enter the U.S., including through sponsorship from a family member or employer.

It is also important to consider the negative effects that deciding to depart voluntarily may have on you and your family. If you fail to depart within the specified time frame given by the immigration judge (usually 120 days), you may receive an order of removal. This can result in penalties such as a bar from returning to the U.S. for 10 years, the denial of visas, and other issues that could affect your ability to legally enter the United States.

Contact Our Illinois Immigration Attorneys for Voluntary Departure

If you are unsure about whether voluntary departure is the best choice in your case, the DuPage County immigration lawyers at Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can provide guidance. We will make sure you understand how voluntary departure will affect you both right away and in the future. We will also advise you on whether you may have other options for defending against deportation and remaining in the United States. To set up a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you, contact our office today at 630-932-9100.




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