Voluntary departure is a form of relief from removal that an immigration judge can grant in during a removal hearing. If you request voluntary departure prior to the end of removal proceedings, the immigration judge can grant you up to 120 days in which to depart, thus giving you time to wrap up your personal and business affairs. If you wait until the completion of the removal hearing, then the immigration judge can only give you up to 60 days in which to depart. Voluntary departure is a purely discretionary form of relief. As they say in court, it is a privilege, not a right. However, it is a way to leave the country when you are deportation proceedings without actually being removed. It is also important to keep in mind that even if you request and are granted voluntary departure, you still can appeal a decision of the immigration judge to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Failing to voluntarily depart on the date set by the immigration judge can result in severe penalties should you fail to depart the country as ordered. You will lose important rights if you are granted the ability to voluntarily depart the country. You can be fined up to $5,000 and become ineligible for certain types of relief from removal if you don’t leave as planned. For example, you can become ineligible for cancellation of removal and adjustment of status for ten years from the date of departure in some cases. Nonetheless, even if you voluntarily leave the country on the date required, you still are barred from adjustment of status should you reenter the country for a period of five years. You will still be penalized for voluntary departure, but not to the extent that you would if you remained in the country after the date of your voluntary departure. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we are here to help you through your deportation proceedings, how matter how complex or lengthy they may be. We can investigate your case, evaluate your ability to avoid deportation, and begin building the strongest defenses possible in your deportation proceedings. Since our law firm exclusively focuses all of our efforts on defending people just like you in deportation proceedings, we have unparalleled skills and knowledge that can be essential to being successful in your deportation case. Call us today and arrange your initial appointment with our Oakland deportation defense attorneys.