8 CFR 1240.26 - Voluntary departure—authority of the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

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§ 1240.26 Voluntary departure - authority of the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

(a) Eligibility: general. An alien previously granted voluntary departure under section 240B of the Act, including by the Service under § 240.25, and who fails to depart voluntarily within the time specified, shall thereafter be ineligible, for a period of ten years, for voluntary departure or for relief under sections 240A, 245, 248, and 249 of the Act.

(b) Prior to completion of removal proceedings -

(1) Grant by the immigration judge.

(i) An alien may be granted voluntary departure by an immigration judge pursuant to section 240B(a) of the Act only if the alien:

(A) Makes such request prior to or at the master calendar hearing at which the case is initially calendared for a merits hearing;

(B) Makes no additional requests for relief (or if such requests have been made, such requests are withdrawn prior to any grant of voluntary departure pursuant to this section);

(C) Concedes removability;

(D) Waives appeal of all issues; and

(E) Has not been convicted of a crime described in section 101(a)(43) of the Act and is not deportable under section 237(a)(4).

(ii) The judge may not grant voluntary departure under section 240B(a) of the Act beyond 30 days after the master calendar hearing at which the case is initially calendared for a merits hearing, except pursuant to a stipulation under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(iii) If the alien files a post-decision motion to reopen or reconsider during the period allowed for voluntary departure, the grant of voluntary departure shall be terminated automatically, and the alternate order of removal will take effect immediately. The penalties for failure to depart voluntarily under section 240B(d) of the Act shall not apply if the alien has filed a post-decision motion to reopen or reconsider during the period allowed for voluntary departure. Upon the granting of voluntary departure, the immigration judge shall advise the alien of the provisions of this paragraph (b)(3)(iii).

(iv) The automatic termination of a grant of voluntary departure and the effectiveness of the alternative order of removal shall not affect, in any way, the date that the order of the immigration judge or the Board became administratively final, as determined under the provisions of the applicable regulations in this chapter.

(2) Stipulation. At any time prior to the completion of removal proceedings, the Service counsel may stipulate to a grant of voluntary departure under section 240B(a) of the Act.

(3) Conditions.

(i) The judge may impose such conditions as he or she deems necessary to ensure the alien's timely departure from the United States, including the posting of a voluntary departure bond to be canceled upon proof that the alien has departed the United States within the time specified. The alien shall be required to present to the Service, for inspection and photocopying, his or her passport or other travel documentation sufficient to assure lawful entry into the country to which the alien is departing, unless:

(A) A travel document is not necessary to return to his or her native country or to which country the alien is departing; or

(B) The document is already in the possession of the Service.

(ii) The Service may hold the passport or documentation for sufficient time to investigate its authenticity. If such documentation is not immediately available to the alien, but the immigration judge is satisfied that the alien is making diligent efforts to secure it, voluntary departure may be granted for a period not to exceed 120 days, subject to the condition that the alien within 60 days must secure such documentation and present it to the Service. The Service in its discretion may extend the period within which the alien must provide such documentation. If the documentation is not presented within the 60-day period or any extension thereof, the voluntary departure order shall vacate automatically and the alternate order of removal will take effect, as if in effect on the date of issuance of the immigration judge order.

(c) At the conclusion of the removal proceedings -

(1) Required findings. An immigration judge may grant voluntary departure at the conclusion of the removal proceedings under section 240B(b) of the Act, if he or she finds that:

(i) The alien has been physically present in the United States for period of at least one year preceding the date the Notice to Appear was served under section 239(a) of the Act;

(ii) The alien is, and has been, a person of good moral character for at least five years immediately preceding the application;

(iii) The alien has not been convicted of a crime described in section 101(a)(43) of the Act and is not deportable under section 237(a)(4); and

(iv) The alien has established by clear and convincing evidence that the alien has the means to depart the United States and has the intention to do so.

(2) Travel documentation. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the clear and convincing evidence of the means to depart shall include in all cases presentation by the alien of a passport or other travel documentation sufficient to assure lawful entry into the country to which the alien is departing. The Service shall have full opportunity to inspect and photocopy the documentation, and to challenge its authenticity or sufficiency before voluntary departure is granted.

(3) Conditions. The immigration judge may impose such conditions as he or she deems necessary to ensure the alien's timely departure from the United States. The immigration judge shall advise the alien of the conditions set forth in this paragraph (c)(3)(i)-(iii). If the immigration judge imposes conditions beyond those specifically enumerated below, the immigration judge shall advise the alien of such conditions before granting voluntary departure. Upon the conditions being set forth, the alien shall be provided the opportunity to accept the grant of voluntary departure or decline voluntary departure if he or she is unwilling to accept the amount of the bond or other conditions. In all cases under section 240B(b) of the Act:

(i) The alien shall be required to post a voluntary departure bond, in an amount necessary to ensure that the alien departs within the time specified, but in no case less than $500. Before granting voluntary departure, the immigration judge shall advise the alien of the specific amount of the bond to be set and the duty to post the bond with the ICE Field Office Director within 5 business days of the immigration judge's order granting voluntary departure.

(ii) An alien who has been granted voluntary departure shall, within 30 days of filing of an appeal with the Board, submit sufficient proof of having posted the required voluntary departure bond. If the alien does not provide timely proof to the Board that the required voluntary departure bond has been posted with DHS, the Board will not reinstate the period of voluntary departure in its final order.

(iii) Upon granting voluntary departure, the immigration judge shall advise the alien that if the alien files a post-order motion to reopen or reconsider during the period allowed for voluntary departure, the grant of voluntary departure shall terminate automatically and the alternate order of removal will take effect immediately.

(iv) The automatic termination of an order of voluntary departure and the effectiveness of the alternative order of removal shall not impact, in any way, the date that the order of the immigration judge or the Board became administratively final, as determined under the provisions of the applicable regulations in this chapter.

(v) If, after posting the voluntary departure bond the alien satisfies the condition of the bond by departing the United States prior to the expiration of the period granted for voluntary departure, the alien may apply to the ICE Field Office Director for the bond to be canceled, upon submission of proof of the alien's timely departure by such methods as the ICE Field Office Director may prescribe.

(vi) The voluntary departure bond may be canceled by such methods as the ICE Field Office Director may prescribe if the alien is subsequently successful in overturning or remanding the immigration judge's decision regarding removability.

(4) Provisions relating to bond. The voluntary departure bond shall be posted with the ICE Field Office Director within 5 business days of the immigration judge's order granting voluntary departure, and the ICE Field Office Director may, at his or her discretion, hold the alien in custody until the bond is posted. Because the purpose of the voluntary departure bond is to ensure that the alien does depart from the United States, as promised, the failure to post the bond, when required, within 5 business days may be considered in evaluating whether the alien should be detained based on risk of flight, and also may be considered as a negative discretionary factor with respect to any discretionary form of relief. The alien's failure to post the required voluntary departure bond within the time required does not terminate the alien's obligation to depart within the period allowed or exempt the alien from the consequences for failure to depart voluntarily during the period allowed. However, if the alien had waived appeal of the immigration judge's decision, the alien's failure to post the required voluntary departure bond within the period allowed means that the alternate order of removal takes effect immediately pursuant to 8 CFR 1241.1(f), except that an alien granted the privilege of voluntary departure under 8 CFR 1240.26(c) will not be deemed to have departed under an order of removal if the alien:

(i) Departs the United States no later than 25 days following the failure to post bond;

(ii) Provides to DHS such evidence of his or her departure as the ICE Field Office Director may require; and

(iii) Provides evidence DHS deems sufficient that he or she remains outside of the United States.

(d) Alternate order of removal. Upon granting a request made for voluntary departure either prior to the completion of proceedings or at the conclusion of proceedings, the immigration judge shall also enter an alternate order or removal.

(e) Periods of time. If voluntary departure is granted prior to the completion of removal proceedings, the immigration judge may grant a period not to exceed 120 days. If voluntary departure is granted at the conclusion of proceedings, the immigration judge may grant a period not to exceed 60 days.

(1) Motion to reopen or reconsider filed during the voluntary departure period. The filing of a motion to reopen or reconsider prior to the expiration of the period allowed for voluntary departure has the effect of automatically terminating the grant of voluntary departure, and accordingly does not toll, stay, or extend the period allowed for voluntary departure under this section. See paragraphs (b)(3)(iii) and (c)(3)(ii) of this section. If the alien files a post-order motion to reopen or reconsider during the period allowed for voluntary departure, the penalties for failure to depart voluntarily under section 240B(d) of the Act shall not apply. The Board shall advise the alien of the condition provided in this paragraph in writing if it reinstates the immigration judge's grant of voluntary departure.

(2) Motion to reopen or reconsider filed after the expiration of the period allowed for voluntary departure. The filing of a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider after the time allowed for voluntary departure has already expired does not in any way impact the period of time allowed for voluntary departure under this section. The granting of a motion to reopen or reconsider that was filed after the penalties under section 240B(d) of the Act had already taken effect, as a consequence of the alien's prior failure voluntarily to depart within the time allowed, does not have the effect of vitiating or vacating those penalties, except as provided in section 240B(d)(2) of the Act.

(f) Extension of time to depart. Authority to extend the time within which to depart voluntarily specified initially by an immigration judge or the Board is only within the jurisdiction of the district director, the Deputy Executive Associate Commissioner for Detention and Removal, or the Director of the Office of Juvenile Affairs. An immigration judge or the Board may reinstate voluntary departure in a removal proceeding that has been reopened for a purpose other than solely making an application for voluntarily departure if reopening was granted prior to the expiration of the original period of voluntary departure. In no event can the total period of time, including any extension, exceed 120 days or 60 days as set forth in section 240B of the Act. The filing of a motion to reopen or reconsider does not toll, stay, or extend the period allowed for voluntary departure. The filing of a petition for review has the effect of automatically terminating the grant of voluntary departure, and accordingly also does not toll, stay, or extend the period allowed for voluntary departure.

(g) Administrative Appeals. No appeal shall lie regarding the length of a period of voluntary departure (as distinguished from issues of whether to grant voluntary departure).

(h) Reinstatement of voluntary departure. An immigration judge or the Board may reinstate voluntary departure in a removal proceeding that has been reopened for a purpose other than solely making application for voluntary departure, if reopening was granted prior to the expiration of the original period of voluntary departure. In no event can the total period of time, including any extension, exceed 120 days or 60 days as set forth in section 240B of the Act and paragraph (a) of this section.

(i) Effect of filing a petition for review. If, prior to departing the United States, the alien files a petition for review pursuant to section 242 of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1252) or any other judicial challenge to the administratively final order, any grant of voluntary departure shall terminate automatically upon the filing of the petition or other judicial challenge and the alternate order of removal entered pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section shall immediately take effect, except that an alien granted the privilege of voluntary departure under 8 CFR 1240.26(c) will not be deemed to have departed under an order of removal if the alien departs the United States no later than 30 days following the filing of a petition for review, provides to DHS such evidence of his or her departure as the ICE Field Office Director may require, and provides evidence DHS deems sufficient that he or she remains outside of the United States. The Board shall advise the alien of the condition provided in this paragraph in writing if it reinstates the immigration judge's grant of voluntary departure. The automatic termination of a grant of voluntary departure and the effectiveness of the alternative order of removal shall not affect, in any way, the date that the order of the immigration judge or the Board became administratively final, as determined under the provisions of the applicable regulations in this chapter. Since the grant of voluntary departure is terminated by the filing of the petition for review, the alien will be subject to the alternate order of removal, but the penalties for failure to depart voluntarily under section 240B(d) of the Act shall not apply to an alien who files a petition for review, and who remains in the United States while the petition for review is pending.

(j) Penalty for failure to depart. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the civil penalty for failure to depart, pursuant to section 240B(d)(1)(A) of the Act, shall be set at $3,000 unless the immigration judge specifically orders a higher or lower amount at the time of granting voluntary departure within the permissible range allowed by law. The immigration judge shall advise the alien of the amount of this civil penalty at the time of granting voluntary departure.

[62 FR 10367, Mar. 6, 1997, as amended at 67 FR 39258, June 7, 2002; 73 FR 76937, Dec. 18, 2008]

Title 8 published on 2015-01-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 8 CFR Part 1240 after this date.

  • 2015-10-01; vol. 80 # 190 - Thursday, October 1, 2015
    1. 80 FR 59503 - List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers for Individuals in Immigration Proceedings
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Executive Office for Immigration Review
      Final rule.
      This rule is effective November 30, 2015.
      8 CFR Parts 1003, 1240, and 1241