Voluntary Departure Law and Legal Definition

A form of relief given to a foreign national in removal proceedings whereby he/she agrees to leave the United States voluntarily by a specific date rather than being deported by the U.S. government. Voluntary departure is preferred to a removal order. A removal order may bar an individual from reentering the United States for up to ten years. Further, the individual may be subject to civil and criminal penalties if he/she enters without proper authorization. An individual who is allowed to depart voluntarily will not be barred from legally reentering the United States in the future. However, failure to depart within the time granted results in a fine as well as a bar to several forms of relief from deportation.