Voluntary Departure

Voluntary Departure is an alternative to deportation available to some people who don’t have a case under the immigration law for remaining in the United States or who have had their case denied by the Immigration Judge. A person granted voluntary departure must depart from the United States on his or her own within a certain period of time ordered by the Judge.  The person must demonstrate that he or she has the resources to travel to his or her home country and the correct documents to gain entry to that country.  Not everyone qualifies for voluntary departure.  Certain prior immigration violations and certain crimes disqualify people from eligibility for voluntary departure.  While there are many advantages of voluntary departure, there are also disadvantages.  Our attorneys can assess whether voluntary departure is the best option, can present the best case in support of voluntary departure to the court, and can explain in detail the consequences of voluntary departure.

Voluntary departure is often part of a larger case strategy.  For example, some individuals who can’t become permanent residents before the immigration court are eligible to apply for legal permanent residence at a consulate abroad based on marriage to United States citizens. For those individuals it is often very important to have a voluntary departure order rather than a deportation order.  In general, people who have a way to immigrate to the United States in the future can benefit from voluntary departure.   The consequences for failing to leave the United States in accordance with an order of voluntary departure are serious.