Virginia, US

Jun 10 2015

Government Closures and Immigration Processing Delays Expected During Ramadan

Algeria, Bahrain, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates

Worldwide

Foreign nationals and their employers can expect immigration processing delays over the coming weeks in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and parts of Asia during observance of Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr. Many government offices worldwide reduce their hours during Ramadan and close for Eid-al-Fitr.

In most of the world, Ramadan is expected to begin on June 18 (depending on lunar sightings) and will end on July 16. Eid-al-Fitr is expected to be observed July 17 – 18, though the exact dates will vary by country. Processing delays could continue in the weeks following Ramadan, due to application backlogs that accumulate during the closures.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of operating hours and office closures for Ramadan. Government office closures are expected in many countries for Eid-al-Fitr, though there have not been official announcements for most countries.

Algeria: While public offices are not officially closed during Ramadan, most government offices will open at 10am and close at 3:30pm. Government offices will also likely be closed on Eid-al-Fitr.  Processing delays can be expected for initial and renewal applications due to the reduced working hours. 

Indonesia: The Ramadan season will start June 18, 2015 and Hari Raya Idul Fitri on July 17, 2015.  Government offices in Indonesia will close at 1pm during Ramadan. Consular posts abroad are expected to shorten their work days by one to two hours throughout Ramadan. Closures after the Ramadan holiday are possible due to staffing shortages.

Malaysia: The Ramadan season will begin June 18, 2015 in Malaysia. Most government offices, including the Immigration Department and the Multimedia Development Corporation (which processes work pass applications for information and communication technology companies) will close at 4pm through Ramadan. Processing delays are expected to continue for up to two weeks after Ramadan ends.

Middle East/North Africa (Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates):  Although there have been no official closure announcements, the operating hours for most government offices are expected to be from 9am to 2pm.  Foreign nationals and employers are advised to check with the relevant office for exact hours of operation. Processing delays could continue in the weeks following Ramadan due to application backlogs that accumulate during the closures.

Turkey: Government offices will be closed half the day on July 16, 2015, and closed on July 17, 2015. Processing delays can be expected for initial and renewal applications due to staffing shortages.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

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