How to request for release on bail in Texas

What is bail in immigration cases? Who can request it? How much does it cost? How can you pay for it?

How can you request bail in an Immigration Detention Center?

Has a friend or relative of yours been detained by immigration? Would you like to help them? Do you have any idea of how to start? You might have so many questions, and we would like to provide some answers, so you can help your loved one through the procedure in an Immigration Detention Center.

The detention center or a judge may set bail, and in this case, the detainee should be released right away until their case is processed. Bail can be paid by a friend or a relative. Also, if the detainee and/or his family do not have the means to pay for bail, then an authorized agency might be able to help.

It is worth clarifying that the amount of bail will be determined by different criteria such as the kind of accusation, their immigration status, their criminal record, whether they have relatives in the United States, as well as the chances they have of showing up for the hearings scheduled by the Immigration Court.

This is a long process, that is why it is important to know well what to do and what not to do, in order to avoid any mistakes. Actually, the purpose of this article is to be a guide during the process, and that is why you should read it carefully.

What is ‘Bail’?

Many immigration lawyers in Houston agree that bail is the amount of money a court demands as a guarantee that the defendant will be present in the hearings, and that they will comply with the judge’s decisions.

A fundamental thing that the person who has been detained should know that paying bail does not mean that your case has ended. The defendant will continue to go to court. He is obliged to go to every single hearing, otherwise, he could be deported.

If this happens, the defendant will no longer have the opportunity to stay in the United States. He could even lose the bail money.

Who is eligible for bail in Texas?

An immigrant who has been detained can be eligible for bail if it is proven that he does not represent a threat to the community and if he is not a flight risk. It could turn out that he is not eligible because of previous criminal charges or if he had been deported before.

There are also cases in which the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) does not accept bail at all, when the immigrant does not cooperate with the authorities throughout the procedure. That is why, it is very important to have professional legal guidance to find out whether a person is eligible for bail or not.

Who is the one who chooses?

There are some aspects that influence this part. In principle, an ICE agent can decide whether or not to offer bail. Once the immigrant has been detained, he will be notified whether he is eligible or not for bail. In that moment, ICE will decide the amount of bail. 

That notification will state whether the immigrant has the right to request a revision of his bail. This happens when the price for bail is way too high, in cases in which the immigrant could have the chance of asking a judge for a lower amount for bail.

How can you ask for a bail hearing in Texas?

It could well happen that the amount set is too high, and because of this, the person detained can ask the judge for a bail hearing so that the amount would be reassessed.  There are different ways to request a hearing. Here are some options:

  • Notify the judge that you want a bail hearing.
  • In the notification letter you should include your name, immigration case number, and hearing petition.

It could happen that once a hearing has been requested, it would be accepted right away. If that is what happens, the immigrant has the option of notifying the judge that he needs time to gather all the documents required.

 What are the requirements to pay for bail in Texas?

One of the ways to pay for bail is when a friend or relative of the immigrant detained (who should be in the United States legally, either as permanent resident or a citizen) pays for it.

The payment has to be made according to the requirements given by ICE or the judge in the immigration court. What kind of payments can be made? It could be either cash or US Treasury Bonds.

In order to set up payment, an appointment must be made with the local ICE office via telephone. Once the appointment has been scheduled, the immigrant must go to the place and at the time scheduled.

The only person who should be present is the one who has legal status in the United States, because if someone with an illegal status attends, he might be detained on the spot.

The person must also have a valid ID document,:a driver’s license from the place he is a resident of, an American passport, permanent residence card, and a Social Security card.

Finally, the immigrant’s relative or friend who makes the payment should sign the following documents: receipt of bail payment, and a bail contract.

How to pay bail through a Bond Agency?

Immigration Bond Agencies are a thing in the United States. They help immigrants who do not have relatives or friends with legal status or who do not have the means to pay for bail. There are many such cases.

Would you like to know which agencies help for immigration bails? So you get an idea, the friend or relative that applies for bail is obliged to pay from 15% to 20% of the total amount in cash. The rest must be backed up with some sort of property.

Bail payment is a big topic, so much so that there are agents who want to make sure that the payment will be returned, they demand that he uses an electronic GPS device to monitor where he is. These agencies have a lot of different requirements.

It is recommended that that a few different agencies are compared and contrasted before you choose one, so that the most best choice made be made in behalf of the immigrant.

Existen dos tipos de fianza y su aplicación depende de cada caso. Las más conocidas son las siguientes: Departure Bonds a partir de $500 y la Deliver Bonds con montos que van de $1.500 a $ 10.000. 

What should you present in a bond hearing in Texas?  

The first thing you need to present is a sponsor’s letter to the judge. It should have:

  • What the relationship is with the person who sponsors the detainee.
  • Legal status of the sponsor, who must be a legal permanent resident or an American citizen.
  • Address of the place where the sponsor lives and where the detainee will live. The place ought to be an apartment or a house. The sponsor must prove that he actually lives there.
  • The sponsor should prove that he can support the detainee when he is set free.
  • It will also be necessary that the detainee prepares for the bail hearing to prove before the judge that he will in fact try not to commit any further crimes once he is set free.
  • Likewise, other documents will be of much help, such as evidence against deportation or persecution.
  • Proof that the person has relatives with legal status in the United States.
  • Proof of tax payment.
  • Letters of support written by friends, neighbors, manager or boss, or others. 
  • Letter written by the detainee in which it explains why he wishes to remain in the country. 
  • Proof of child support, whether it is rent payments or any other expenses paid to the family.
  • Properties.
  • State whether he has debts.
  • Mention whether he was part of the US Armed Forces. 

There must be copies of all the documents for the judge and the state’s attorney.

Master hearing vs Individual hearing in Texas

As part of the procedure, a preliminary hearing is scheduled. This hearing will discuss inadmissibility charges by the immigration court. While this hearing takes place, the court is responsible for determining whether the immigrant will be protected by immigration and national law.

On the other hand, during the individual hearing, this court will hear the witnesses to determine the charges. The hearing will, of course, take place independently.

What types of bond apply to immigrants?

There are 2 types of bail and its application depends on each individual case. The most widely known are: Departure Bonds from $500, to Deliver Bonds that go from $1,500 to $10,000

These types of bond are fairly common in the United States, and in 2019, immigration bonds have been set to $8,000, according to the Executive Office of Immigration Review.

Every type of bond works differently. For example, when Deliver Bonds are applied, the foreign citizen will be set free, and the deportation process will continue. If he does not attend his hearings in court, he will be detained and he will not get his money back.

While in the case of Departure Bonds, the immigrant agrees that he will leave the US for some time. Once his bond has been paid for the person is set free and, right after that, he will try to get all of the necessary documentation to leave the country. It is necessary that complies with his bond, or he will lose his money.

Is it possible to get your bond money back?

It is. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what should happen once proceedings against the immigrant end, or once he leaves the country. In these cases, you can claim your Deliver Bond or Departure Bond money.

How long does this process take? The bail money is returned within a month, taking into account the date when the request is made. But is can sometimes take longer. 

Generally speaking, it is a bit of a complex process, and in most cases, it is better to have the support of an immigration attorney.


In this article you have learned how a detained immigrant can be set free on bail, and this can be a long and complicated process. It requires help from a friend or relatives with legal status in the United States to apply for it.

In order to go out on bail, the detainee must gather together some documents that we mentioned above. Also, keep in mind that the amount is determined by the judge and it can be reviewed if the price is considered too high.

It is also possible for the detainee to get his bail money back, but the case must finally be ruled negatively. 

Any person that has been an immigrant should know that it is not easy, especially when the person ends up being detained. Here, the help of a friend or relative is crucial to solve a problem like this.

During this procedure, a legal professional’s help could make a huge difference. In fact, a great deal of the process depends on having a competent attorney who will be responsible for the whole case, taking into account the position of the detainee and the relative or friend responsible for requesting bail.

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