If you or a loved one is arrested and placed in an immigration detention center, or deported, you may wonder how you will access your bank account. Particularly if you have been living and working in the United States for some time, you may have a bank account containing a significant amount of funds. However, once you are detained or deported, it can become very difficult to access those funds. Every bank has different rules about how you can make changes to or access your bank account. Therefore, you always should keep information about your bank and your accounts together so that you can contact your bank about its specific rules and procedures. If you want a loved one or another trusted person to be able to access your bank account while you are detained or deported, it may be easiest to add that person’s name to your account in order to change it to a joint account. This is a simple process if you are not detained, but can become much more difficult if you already are detained or deported. If you didn’t add another person to your account and now are detained or have been deported, you should contact your bank by telephone and determine what it requires to add another person to your account. The bank is likely to require some sort of identification or proof from you that you own the account and have the right to add names to it. The problem is that you may have difficulty accessing the proof that is needed by the bank once you have been detained or have left the country. Nonetheless, your bank may permit you to change your account to a joint account over the phone, online, or via mail, depending on its policies. If you have no one in the U.S. to handle your bank account, you may wish to close your account altogether. You will be able to get the funds that remain in your account, usually by check or transfer to another account. If you already have been deported, it can be difficult to cash in your home country. You most likely will have to open a new bank account, deposit the check, and then wait anywhere from 45 to 60 days for the check to clear. Alternatively, you could open a new account in your home country and have your American bank transfer the money to your account. However, your bank may charge high international transfer fees, so you need to ask about these fees before arranging for a transfer. Individuals who are detained and/or facing deportation need an experienced California immigration attorney who can assist them with this often complex process. We are here to stand up for the rights of detained immigrants, including the special medical needs of pregnant detainees. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we know how to stand up for the rights of those who are legally entitled to remain in the U.S. Call us today at (510) 491-0291 and schedule an appointment with one of our deportation defense lawyers, and learn how we can assist you.