Will You Go To Jail If You Get Deported From The US?

Individuals sentenced to deportation through an immigration hearing are generally not jailed if deported to their home countries. Read on to learn more critical information about how deportation may or may not result in jail time.

The Risk Of Being Deported In The U.S. With The Possibility Of Going To Jail Requires An Immigration Lawyer

Do You Go To Jail If You Are Deported?

Here are the factors that affect getting imprisoned after deportation.

If You Have Committed An Aggravated Felony 

Suppose you are not a US citizen but have residency status and commit an aggravated crime in the United States. In that case, you’ll likely go through the judicial system before you are ordered to attend an immigration hearing. This hearing will dictate the length of your sentence. This outcome is because if you serve more than a year in jail for a crime such as theft, you’ll be eligible for deportation. But if you are sentenced to a shorter period of confinement, you may be allowed to stay in the US.

If you serve jail time for an aggravated felony, you’ll likely receive a letter summoning you to an immigration hearing after your release. At this point, the judge will read out the charge against you. After that, you’ll state why you should be able to remain in the United States.

When Deported To Your Country Of Origin

If your immigration trial decides you’ll be deported back to the nation you came from, you will not need to serve additional jail time. Deportation is already a punishment in itself. This is especially true if you’ve been imprisoned in the US for committing a serious crime.

The only reason you would be jailed in your country of origin after deportation is if you didn’t complete your jail time in the US. In that case, you may have to serve the rest of your jail time in your home country. But for this to happen, the US must have a unique, reciprocal agreement with your country of origin.

Entering The US Illegally Or Overstaying Your Visa

If you are caught by law enforcement trying to get into the US illegally at a port of entry, such as an international airport, you will not serve jail time in a US prison. Instead, you’ll be immediately sent back to the country where you entered the US.

The situation is different if you enter the United States legally on a short-term visa and fail to leave the country before it expires. In this case, you still won’t be jailed for committing a crime, but authorities will transport you to a deportation center. It may be against your will, but you must wait out in this facility until a decision is made after your immigration trial.

If you are not deemed a runaway risk, there is a chance that you may be released from your deportation center on bail. This is a better option as while detention centers are not jails, they offer a fundamental standard of living. However, if you fail to attend your primary immigration hearing, you will be sent back to a detention center. You will then face harsher penalties for avoiding your hearing.

For example, the judge will consider how you absconded from your hearing when they decide. So it’s highly advisable to ensure you turn up to your scheduled immigration hearings on time if you do post bail to avoid spending time in a detention center.


While you may serve jail time for committing an aggravated felony in the United States, you may not need additional jail time once you are deported back to your home country. Also, keep in mind that deportation itself is a punishment and does not always result in jail time in the US. 

Lastly, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement may house you in a detention center against your will if you overstay in the country. But they won’t imprison you for this offense. Instead, you will wait for the outcome of your immigration hearings. If you are worried about the possibility of being deported, contact a trustworthy immigration attorney for assistance.

Appealing A Deportation Order
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