Getting Your Immigration Bond Money Refunded

June 16, 2019

Action Immigration

Have you or a loved one recently gone through an immigration case and been lucky enough to have your immigration bond canceled by ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement)?

Immigration arrests are stressful enough, let us help you understand the sometimes confusing process of getting your immigration bond refunded properly.

For those looking to get their money back, here is a step by step guide.

How to Get your Immigration Bond Refunded

At this point in the process, you have probably posted bail, you are probably familiar with how immigration bonds work, how to obtain one, and why they are required.

However, at some point after a person's release (usually about a year following their arrest), if the individual has become a legal citizen or has been deported, they may seek an immigration bond refund.

This refund is given because the conditions of the bond have been met and therefore the bond is canceled. 

When a Bond is Canceled

Once your bond has been canceled, the ICE sends out an ICE form. It's called the I-391, or Notice Immigration Bond Canceled. You need this form. This is one of the major reasons that if you change your address during the year following arrest, you must inform the ICE so you can be sure to receive this form when they mail it.

To let the ICE know of your address change, you need to fill out a form called the ICE form I-333, or Obligor Change of Address.

After You Have the I-391

Once you have received the I-391, or Notice of Immigration Bond Canceled form, the obligor should send it and the Form I-305, Receipt of Immigration Officer, to the State Debt Management Center.

Be sure to include a cover letter requesting the refund along with these two Forms. 

Getting Your Money

Keep in mind that in order to receive a refund on your bail bond, you/the obligor must have legal status. This is a prerequisite to being eligible for a refund. 

Because of this legal requirement, the obligor is usually a friend instead of an immediate family member of the person detained. This means it's important not to lose touch with the obligor following release as they will need to play a significant role in helping you obtain your refund.

Even the obligor may not have provided funds for the bond, the refund will be given to the obligor. 

To keep yourself safe from a dishonest "friend" acting as your obligor and taking your bond refund money, you should have your obligor fill out an ICE Form I-312, Designation of Attorney in Fact.

This form allows the obligor to assign someone else besides themselves to receive the refund and make sure the money gets back in the right hands. It may be safest to have the obligor assign a close family member of the bonded person to receive these funds.

Choose a Reliable Obligor

When it comes to making sure you get your immigration bond refunded, your wisest bet is to choose an obligor that can be trusted.

If you cannot select a trustworthy, close family friend, make sure you work with an experienced group who will fill out all the proper ICE paperwork to ensure your money gets back in the right hands. 

For help more help with bond referrals or to ask questions, contact us today.

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