Voluntary Departure affords an individual, who is placed in deportation proceedings and otherwise removable (formerly referred to as deportable) from the United States, the opportunity to depart from the U.S. at his/her own expense within a designated amount of time in order to avoid the Immigration Judge issuing a final order of removal. Voluntary Departure as a form of relief, however, is not possible in all situations and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, accepting Voluntary Departure might not be advantageous.
Voluntary Departure is available both during and prior to removal proceedings. If granted before removal proceedings commence, the individual will have up to 120 days to leave the country. If Voluntary Departure is granted after removal proceedings have commenced, however, the individual will have a maximum of 60 days to leave the country.
Voluntary Departure is favored over a removal order for many different reasons. Voluntary Departure allows individuals to avoid being ordered removed by an Immigration Judge and avoid the 10-year ban on re-entry and receiving immigration benefits. In agreeing to depart the United States voluntarily, the individual may incur no impediment to legally returning to the United States, at a future date. If that same individual elected not to voluntarily depart within the time specified by an Immigration Judge, he/she may be barred from legally re-entering the U.S. The individual may also be ineligible to apply for 10 years for a number of immigration benefits, including cancellation of removal and adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident.
To talk to a lawyer about any personal or business immigration concern, call our offices in New York City at 212-401-4040 or Toll-Free in the U.S. at 800-244-5266. You can also contact us online.
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