What is a bondsperson for someone in immigration detention?

4. Prepare to give information

If you agree to be a bondsperson, it’s a good idea to go to the detention review hearing if you can. You need to complete an Information Form and bring it with you to the hearing. If you can’t be there in person, you can work with the person’s lawyer or legal representative to give the information in a written statement or sworn affidavit.

A Member of the Immigration Division is in charge of the hearing. At the hearing, the Member will want answers to the following questions:

  • How long have you known the detained person and how often are you in contact?
  • Do you know the person’s immigration history, the status of any pending applications, and how soon they may be removed from Canada?
  • Where do you work, and what is your work schedule and income?
  • Do you have assets, such as property, money in the bank, and investments, as proof of ability to pay a performance bond?
  • How will you supervise the person and make sure they follow the conditions of their release?
  • Are you willing to tell CBSA if the person doesn’t follow the conditions of their release?
  • Are you willing to have the person live with you, and if not, how far they will live from you?
  • Have you ever posted an immigration bond or criminal surety in the past? If so, did the person ever fail to follow the conditions of their release or bail, and did you report them?
  • Do you have a criminal record and, if so, how long ago was that and what was the crime?

If the detained person has a lawyer or legal representative, they should interview you to gather this information. The legal representative will prepare a release plan. If the person doesn’t have a legal representative, they will have to present their own release plan.

The release plan should include conditions that address why the person is being detained. Typical conditions include:

  • “voice report” to the CBSA, in person or by phone
  • live with a specific person, usually the bondsperson
  • be supervised by a third party, such as the Toronto Bail Program
  • follow a curfew
  • get support for health, addictions, employment, housing, or other needs
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