What is Pre-Conclusion Voluntary Departure?
If Respondent requests Pre-Conclusion Voluntary Departure before the conclusion of removal proceedings, this is known as Pre-Conclusion Voluntary Departure. The Immigration Judge is allowed to issue a period of up to 120 days before the Respondent actually depart. INA 240B(a). The Respondent must request this at a Master Calendar Hearing before conclusion of proceedings.
In order to receive Voluntary Departure, Respondent must (See 8 C.F.R. 1240.26(b)):
(1) Withdraw any pending requests for relief;
(2) Make no requests for additional relief;
(3) Concede removeability;
(4) Not have an aggravated felony conviction or be deportable under INA § 237(a)(4) (related to security grounds); and
(5) Waive appeal of all issues.
The Immigration Judge has the authority to impose other requirements, such as Respondent pay a bond of a set amount and that Respondent submit travel documents to the Government. 8 C.F.R. §1240.26(b)(3)(i). Finally, the Immigration Judge's decision to grant Voluntary Departure is discretionary. Matter of Arguelles,
22 I&N Dec. 811, 816 (BIA 1999).
What is Pre-Conclusion Voluntary Departure "In Safeguards"?
If Respondent is detained under ICE custody and the Immigration Judge grants Voluntary Departure, two things can occur: (1) Respondent could be released from ICE custody and have a set period of time to address his/her affairs before departing or (2) Respondent departs the U.S. directly from ICE custody, also known as "In Safeguards."
Here in San Diego, if an Immigration Judge grants Pre-Conclusion Voluntary Departure to Respondent "In Safeguards," Respondent will be turned over to the respective government officer in charge of the removal procedure, who in turn would process Respondent's physical departure. Here, in San Diego, Respondent will likely be required to provide a travel document to ICE. However, the government will pay the expense of Respondent's travel back to his/her country of origin. Jurisdictions may differ on whether Respondent will have to pay for his/her travel back to his/her country.