The purpose of Form I-210, Notice of Action – Voluntary Departure, is to document the decisions an authorized officer makes concerning the departure of an alien from the United States in lieu of deportation, reports Cornell University Law School. Stipulations on the form may include the time period within which the alien must depart, the posting of a bond, incarceration while awaiting departure and safeguards during removal.
Aliens about to be deported from the United States may request voluntary departure before, during or after their appearances in immigration court, explains Nolo. Voluntary departure rather than forced departure makes it easier for non-citizens to apply for readmission at a later time. Aliens often request voluntary departure after being arrested and placed in detention. If the Department of Homeland Security grants it, non-citizens generally have a maximum of 120 days to depart with no other legal recourse. Voluntary departure saves them the time and expense of court trials.
Before granting voluntary departure, immigration judges evaluate an alien's criminal record, family ties and immigration history, according to Nolo. Terrorists and aggravated felons are denied voluntary departure. Aliens receiving voluntary departure must have lived in the United States for at least the previous year, prove good moral character for the past five years, and have the finances to post a bond and leave the country at their own expense.