When it is determined that you do not have a legal right to remain in the United States, you must be deported. Contrary to popular belief, not all non-citizens are involuntarily deported. You can opt to leave the country voluntarily, which could prove beneficial to you in the long run. If you have been notified you must leave the country, here is what you need to know.
What Is Voluntary Deportation?
A voluntary deportation is essentially you leaving the country on your own at your own expense. As a result of voluntarily leaving, you avoid many of the consequences that come with being involuntarily removed from the country.
Voluntary deportation is a process and there are steps you must follow before you leave. If you fail to take the right steps, you could have trouble regaining entry into the country at a later time.
What Steps Must You Follow?
In order to qualify for voluntary deportation, you must formally request it. You have three chances to request it before the government takes the step of removing you. Your first opportunity is when you receive notice that a removal hearing has been scheduled for you.
If you choose to go at that point, you need to contact the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, and complete the proper documentation. Once the documentation is approved, you will receive a date by which you must leave. You need to provide the DHS with a copy of your traveling plans before that date.
Your second and third opportunity to leave come at the removal hearing. You can opt to request voluntary deportation at the beginning and conclusion of the hearing. Your request can be made to the judge presiding over the hearing.
It is important to note that if you wait until the conclusion of the hearing and the judge ruled that you were to be deported, your request for voluntary deportation might not be approved. At that point, the court has already ruled that you must leave. However, it is possible the judge will allow you to leave on your own.
Why Is Voluntary Deportation Beneficial?
Voluntarily leaving the country helps you to avoid a ban. Some non-citizens who are found to be in the country illegally are banned from re-entering the country for periods of time. If you voluntarily leave, there is a good chance you can start the process to re-enter the country legally as soon as you get home.
It also looks better on your application that you chose to leave rather than being forced to leave.
If you are unsure whether or not voluntary deportation is right for you, consult with an immigration attorney like those at the David Borts Law Office. He or she can help you decide and start the process.