Section 240B of the Immigration and Nationality Act permits the Department of Homeland Security or an immigration judge to grant an immigrant’s request for voluntary departure from the United States instead of being deported. An individual will only receive voluntary departure if he or she has not received it in the past, and is otherwise eligible for the relief. Voluntary departure does not allow an individual to remain indefinitely in the U.S., but it does permit him or her to remain in the country for a specified period of time. Under a grant of voluntary departure, the alien must use his or her own means to leave the country. Although being granted permission to voluntarily depart from the United States, rather than having an immigration court order your removal, may have its benefits in some cases, there are a variety of reasons why obtaining voluntary departure may not be such a smart move on your part. First, a voluntary departure order gives you only a very limited amount of time in which to leave the U.S. You may be entitled to 120 days in which to depart, if you seek voluntary departure at the beginning of your removal proceedings and waive all of your rights to appeal. If, however, you pursue another avenue of relief from removal, and you do not receive this relief, you will only have 60 days in which to depart. If you have matters to wrap up in the U.S. before leaving, then you have only a limited time in which to do so. Perhaps the biggest problem with accepting voluntary departure is the consequences if you fail to depart. If you apply for voluntary departure and your fail to depart; your voluntary departure order will become a removal order, you will automatically trigger a 10 year bar which is unwaivable, and you will have monetary fines. All of these, especially the bars involved, can be horribly harsh! And even if you marry a US citizen and have multiple children together, there will be no way to obtain a green card if you fail to depart on time. The deportation defense lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. focus our practice on helping clients who are facing removal proceedings; we handle these types of cases on a daily basis. Our goal is to avoid removal at all costs, but also to carefully consider all of the different options that may be available to you. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we offer compassionate legal representation for you and your family throughout the course of all removal proceedings.
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