INTERPOL and Red Notices- How long does it take for a Red Notice to be processed?

Estlund Law, P.A.

Estlund Law, P.A.

[author: Lisa Ould Aklouche*]

A very common concern among this firm’s clients is how long it will take for INTERPOL to issue a Red Notice and circulate it among INTERPOL’s member countries around the globe. It can be frustrating for potential Red Notice subjects to learn that the answer depends in large part on the efficiency and motivation of the requesting country.

The procedure of the implementation of a Red Notice is composed of several stages:

  • Red Notices are published at the request of a National Central Bureau or an international entity with powers of investigation and prosecution in criminal matters.
  • Prior to requesting the publication of a notice, the requesting entity is supposed to ensure that the conditions attached to its request for publication are met, including the requirement that the notice must be supported by a valid underlying arrest warrant, judicial decision, or its equivalent.
  • After that, the requesting entity can submit the Red Notice request.
  • Before their publication, the General Secretariat is supposed to conduct a legal review of the Red Notice to ensure compliance with Interpol’s Constitution and Rules. If the request is compliant, Red Notices are then published by the General Secretariat.

There is no single answer to the question of how long each part of the process will take. The duration of all those steps depends in large part on the member states. What is more, Red Notices are rarely publicly published, which makes it more difficult to know the general average duration of the full process.

If a person has reason to believe that he or she is the subject of a Red Notice, an inquiry can be made directly to INTERPOL to determine his or her status with the Organization.

*Ms. Ould-Aklouche holds a master’s degree in French law. She can be reached at

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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