top of page
< Back

A. Immigration Bonds

Have you been detained by immigration officials? This guide explains how to ask for release from detention through an immigration bond.

A. Immigration Bonds


Printable Version 11×17 PDF

Guide A. English • Folding Instructions

Versión imprimible 11×17 PDF

Guía A. Español • Instrucciones de plegado

For examples of forms, documents, and motions you will need to submit, visit:

This is placeholder text. To change this content, double-click on the element and click Change Content. Want to view and manage all your collections? Click on the Content Manager button in the Add panel on the left. Here, you can make changes to your content, add new fields, create dynamic pages and more. You can create as many collections as you need.

Your collection is already set up for you with fields and content. Add your own, or import content from a CSV file. Add fields for any type of content you want to display, such as rich text, images, videos and more. You can also collect and store information from your site visitors using input elements like custom forms and fields.

Be sure to click Sync after making changes in a collection, so visitors can see your newest content on your live site. Preview your site to check that all your elements are displaying content from the right collection fields.

Digital Version PDF

Guide A. English • Poster

Versión digital PDF

Guía A. Español • El póster


Published XX/XX/2022. Updated XX/XX/2022.

Can I be released on bond?

Bond is a payment made to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

so you can be released from jail. You are still expected to attend your Immigration Court hearings.


Eligible At a bond hearing, the judge will want you to show:

  • You have a defense against deportation

  • You are not a danger to the community

  • You have somewhere to stay, strong community ties, and will return to court

Not Eligible You might not be eligible for bond if:

  • You have been convicted of certain crimes (you might still be eligible, consult an attorney)

  • You were deported in the past

  • You were arrested by immigration officials at or near the border

Will I be able to pay my bond?

  • An Immigration Judge decides how much you have to pay. $1,500 is the lowest bond amount the Immigration Judge can set.

  • There is no maximum amount.

  • Someone with legal status and a valid social security number must make the entire bond payment for you.

  • The full amount must be paid up front. There are no payment plans.

In order for the bond money to be returned to the person who paid it, you must attend all Immigration Court hearings and follow all orders from the judge and your ICE officer. If you do not follow all orders, the government will keep the bond money. Back to top


Step 1. Request a Bond Hearing

There are a few ways to ask for a bond hearing:

  1. Complete Form I-286 Notice of Custody Determination to request an Immigration Judge On your Form I-286, mark the box next to “I do” to ask for a review of your custody decision by an Immigration Judge. Then mark the box next to “I acknowledge receipt of this notification.”

  2. Your first time in court — schedule a bond hearing The first time you go before an Immigration Judge for a hearing, tell the judge that you would like to schedule a bond hearing.

  3. Write a letter to the Immigration Court requesting a bond hearing.

Change in Circumstances

If you were denied bond in the past but your circumstances have changed, you can ask for a “bond redetermination hearing” based on your new situation. Include evidence.

Back to top


Step 2. Gather Documents for Your Bond Hearing

Gather as much evidence as you can. If you are unable to gather these materials before your hearing, send a letter to the judge and government attorney to reschedule.

Go to for examples of letters and other documents.

IMPORTANT— Consider the immigration status of anyone who will attend your hearing because it could expose them to immigration officials. If someone who lacks legal status submits a letter on your behalf, including an address or identifying information can also create risks of exposure.

Translate all documents into English

If any of your documents are in another language, someone must translate them into English. Translators should:

  • Attach the translation to a copy of the original document.

  • Include a translation statement, a page where they list their address and phone number, explain that they are competent to translate from the original language to English, and sign and date at the bottom.

​​Sponsor documents

Your sponsor is the person you will live with if released.

  • Sponsor writes letter to the Immigration Judge Your sponsor should list their full address and say that you will live there. It is best to have this letter notarized.

  • Sponsor includes document to show proof of residence Your sponsor should attach proof of residence, such as mail, a utility bill, a mortgage or rental agreement.

  • Sponsor includes proof of lawful status Ideally, your sponsor should be someone with lawful status (a U.S. citizen, a green card holder, etc.) and should include proof of that status, such as a copy of their U.S. passport, birth certificate, or green card.

Personal documents to support your bond

  • Proof of fear of return — if seeking asylum or withholding of removal

  • Proof of physical presence — if seeking cancellation of removal (this can be anything with your name, address and a date)

  • Employment — if you work and can get a letter from your employer or pay stubs

  • Ownership of property — if you have a car title, deed, or mortgage

  • Identity documents — passports or green cards, marriage certificate, birth certificates, and other identification for you, your spouse, and your children

  • Rehabilitation — if you have been in trouble with the law, gather all records from your program, including proof of completion, and letters from your probation officer

  • Tax records to show your compliance with tax laws

  • School records — if you have a diploma, GED, or a technical or college degree

Letters of support

Gather letters of support from family, friends, religious/community leaders, employers, and co-workers. Each letter should be notarized if possible and include:

  • How long the person has known you

  • What kind of person they know you to be

  • Any hardships that they have faced because you were detained

  • A photocopy of a valid form of identification from the author, such as a driver’s license, passport, or school ID

A letter from you to the judge

Be honest why you meet requirements to be released.

  • Explain how long you have been in the U.S. and why you need to remain (to support your family, be present for your children, etc).

  • If you have been in trouble with the police in the past, the judge will want to know that you have changed and that you will not get into trouble again.

Back to top


Step 3. Submit Documents

  1. Make a cover page with your name, your A-Number (Alien Registration Number), the name of the Immigration Judge, the date and time of your hearing, and the title “RESPONDENT’S EXHIBITS IN SUPPORT OF BOND” (if you are in detention, write “DETAINED” in the top right corner)

  2. Make a table of contents listing all the documents you are submitting as evidence

  3. Gather your documents (with attached translations and translation statements for any that are not in English) and place them behind the table of contents in the order listed

  4. Attach a Proof of Service, a final page where you list your name and A-Number;

  • write, “On the date of signing I served a copy of the attached pages to the Detroit Office of Chief Counsel at the following address:”;

  • list the government attorney’s address (see below);

  • write how you are sending these documents to the government attorney (certified mail, hand-delivery, etc.); and

  • sign and date at the bottom.

Make three copies of everything.

If you are detained, jail officials are required to provide copying, but stamps may cost extra. If you cannot mail your documents, bring them with you to your bond hearing.

Send a copy of everything to:

Immigration Court

P.V. McNamara Federal Building

477 Michigan Avenue, Suite 440

Detroit, MI 48226

Send a copy to the government attorney:

Detroit Office of Chief Counsel

Rosa Parks Federal Building

333 Mt. Elliott Street, 2nd Floor

Detroit, MI 48207

Keep originals and a copy of everything for yourself.

Back to top


Step 4. Prepare & Attend Your Bond Hearing

Invite family and friends to attend your bond hearing at the Immigration Court. It is especially helpful, but not required, for your sponsor to attend. Remember to consider their immigration status.

You will attend your bond hearing from jail via video conference. The judge will review your documents and ask about your life in the U.S.

What if I’m unable to gather all my documents before my bond hearing?

Send a letter to the judge asking to reschedule the hearing for a later date. Or ask for more time at the hearing itself. You only get one chance to present your bond case.

  • If the judge grants your bond request, you will be told at the hearing the amount that you must pay.

  • If the judge does not grant your bond request or you cannot pay the bond set for you, you will remain in detention. You might have the option to appeal. See Guide F. Appeals.

Is English not your best language? Ask for an interpreter to join in person or by phone. Is no one available? Ask to reschedule your bond hearing.

Back to top


Step 5. Pay Your Bond

The person who pays your bond is an obligor. Your obligor must be a U.S. citizen, a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR or green card holder), or have some other legal status in the United States and a social security number.

Option 1. Cashier’s Check (bank) or Money Order (USPS)

Your obligor can pay a cash bond directly to the government. Your obligor must pay the full amount via a cashier’s check (from a bank) or a money order (from a U.S. Post Office) made out to the “Department of Homeland Security.”

  • Do not use the abbreviation “DHS.”

  • Cash and personal checks not accepted.

Option 2. Surety Bond (bond company)

Your obligor can pay a surety bond through a bond company. The bond company pays the full

amount to the government. Your obligor pays fees to the company for the loan.

Bond can be paid starting the next business day after your bond hearing. It should be paid as soon as possible. Your obligor can pay bond at any Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office in any U.S. state. It is best for the obligor to arrive at the ICE office early in the morning because the process can take hours.

Michigan ICE Field Office

260 Mt. Elliott Street

Detroit, Michigan 48207

Remember! Visitors cannot enter the building with a cell phone.

Your obligor will need to provide the following to pay your bond:

Your personal information

  • Full name as written in the government’s records

  • Your A-Number (Alien Registration Number)

  • The letter you received from the judge entitled Order of the Immigration Judge with Respect to Custody, if the obligor has it

Your obligor’s personal information

  • Current address

  • Social Security number

  • Phone number

  • Identification (green card, passport, valid driver’s license, or other state ID)

Make sure your obligor keeps all the paperwork from the bond payment. It has instructions for how to get the money back after your case is resolved.

Back to top


Step 6. Release from Detention

Once bond is paid, ICE gives permission to release you. The jail might not immediately release you until someone comes to pick you up. Your family and friends can call the jail where you are detained to get more information about your release.

What happens after I’m released?

Getting released on bond does not mean the end of your deportation case.

  • Attend all hearings – You are expected to attend all hearings scheduled in your case or you can be ordered deported and your obligor will not get the bond money back.

  • Watch for hearing notices – You will receive hearing notices from the Immigration Court at the address you provided. If your address changes, file Form EOIR - 33/ Alien Change of Address and send to the Immigration Court. Send a copy to ICE.

  • Check your hearing date status – The judge might change your next hearing date. Call the Immigration Court hotline at 1-800-898-7180 or visit to check your hearing date status.

Back to top


Advocacy Team

You are detained and need to go to court.

Your Sponsor is the person you will live with if released.

Your Obligor is the person who pays your bond.

Legal Players

ICE Officer

Immigration Judge

Detroit Office of Chief Counsel (Government Attorney)

Back to top


For legal advice, contact Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) at (734) 239-6863 or

If you are detained in Michigan, you have a right to call the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center confidential detention line for free. Ask a jail official for instructions.

Do not sign anything you do not understand. If you have questions, call MIRC.

bottom of page