Temecula, CA Immigration Attorney, John Mansfield, explains:
I get this question all the timeÉ”How Long Will My immigration Case Take”? The answer to that depends a lot on whether or not your case is “in court” or “out of court”.
If it is out of court, it is specifically called “administrative processing”, and that type of case is going to take anywhere from 3-6 months in Southern California. Typically, again this depends on the jurisdiction that you live in.
Certain Los Angeles cases may take longer than that but, that’s usually due to the number of people in the Metropolitan Los Angeles area. In San Diego, for example, the timeline is typically shorter. in Riverside County, such as Temecula, Murrieta, San Bernardino, etc., it will take about 3-6 months.
If your case is in court, you are looking at anywhere from 1-3 years, depending on the jurisdiction.
I practice in the Southern California area, so my experience and timelines are based here. You would have to consult the court in your particular area for a more specific timeline of where you are.
Generally, I believe it is safe to say in smaller cities it an immigration case can last 1 year to 1 1/2 years. In larger cities, such as Los Angeles, you’re looking at probably 1-3 years for your court case to be resolved.
Certain things that can complicate or delay your immigration case:
* Undisclosed criminal records – even if it’s just an arrest – and you were not convicted, it doesn’t matter. If you fail to disclose an arrest, then that is going to delay your case.
* If you fail to disclose prior deportation or even a volunteer to departure that you sign with the border patrol.
* If you have failed to produce the supporting documents that the court or the agency asks of you. If you are requested to submit the documents x, y, and z, and you wait too long, or can’t find them, or for some other reason fail to submit them in a timely fashion