Connecticut, US

Dec 10 2018

Immigration Processing During the Holiday Season

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, European Union, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal , Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Congo, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Republic of the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis , Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Bahamas, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia , Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia

The following is a non-exhaustive list of immigration office and government closings during the holiday season. Employers and foreign nationals with travel or relocation plans between now and early 2019 should contact their immigration service provider to discuss the impact of holiday closures on their specific circumstances.

Albania

The government authorities will be closed December 25, 2018, and January 1-2, 2019. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Algeria

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2019.

Angola

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Argentina

Government offices will be closed December 24, 25 and 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Australia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Austria

The immigration authority in Vienna will be closed December 25-26, 2018, and January 1, 2019, and will have limited opening hours (8-11AM local time) on December 24 and 31, 2018. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Azerbaijan

Government offices will be closed December 31, 2018 and January 1-2, 2019.

Bahrain

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2019.

Belarus

The immigration authority will be closed December 24, 25 and 31, 2018 and January 1 and 7, 2019.

Belgium

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Federal, regional and municipal authorities are expected to be closed or close early on other days in December and January, but typically announce these on short notice. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing.

Bermuda

Government offices will be closed on December 25 and 26, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Bolivia

Government offices will be closed December 25, 25 and 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Bosnia

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2 and 7, 2019. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

Botswana

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Brazil

Government offices are expected to be closed on December 24, 25 and 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Delays due to reduced workforce should also be expected.

Brunei

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Bulgaria

The immigration authority will be closed December 24-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Burkina Faso

The immigration authority will be closed December 11 and 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Burundi

The immigration authority will be closed on December 25, 2018, and January 1, 2019.

Cambodia

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2019.

Cameroon

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Canada

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Foreign nationals traveling to Canada are reminded to confirm that their necessary travel documents (passports, work permits visas and/or eTAs, as applicable) are valid before departing Canada. Permanent residents of Canada should be aware that a valid permanent residence card is required to return to Canada by air.

Chad

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

China

Government offices will be closed December 30-31, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Colombia

Government closures are expected on December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Additionally, it is expected that government offices will be open only for half the day on December 24 and 31, 2018.

Costa Rica

The immigration authority will be closed December 21, 2018 through January 7, 2019.

Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Croatia

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Government offices are expected to close early on December 24 and 31, 2018. In general, government offices will have limited staff between December 24, 2018 and January 6, 2019.

Cyprus

Government offices will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Czech Republic

Government offices will be closed from December 21, 2018 up to and including January 1, 2019.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Denmark

The immigration authorities will be closed December 24, 25, 26 and 31, 2018, and January 1, 2019.

Dominican Republic

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.  There may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Ecuador

Government offices are expected to be closed on December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.  Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Egypt

Government offices are expected to be closed on January 7 and 25, 2019.

Estonia

Government offices will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Equatorial Guinea

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Ethiopia

The immigration authority will be closed January 7, 2019.

Finland

Government offices will be closed December 6 and 24-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period will delay processing.

France

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2018, and January 1, 2019. Applicants should anticipate processing delays due to limited staff during the holiday period, both at consular posts, Office Français de l’Immigration et Intégration (OFII) offices and local prefectures.

Gabon

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Gambia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Ghana

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Georgia

Government offices will be closed January 1-2 and 7, 2019.

Germany

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Reduced staff during the year-end period will affect appointment availability and application processing.

Greece

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Government offices are expected to close early on December 24 and 31, 2018. Applicants are advised to submit applications on December 21, 2018 at the latest. 

Guatemala

Government offices will be closed on December 24, 25 and 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Hong Kong

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Hungary

The Labor Office front office will be closed December 17-28, 2018. Fragomen expects applications to continue to be processed at a slightly slower pace and sent to the Immigration Office for final approval, but the status of individual applications cannot be checked between December 15, 2018 and January 2, 2019.

The Immigration Office will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Indonesia

Government offices will be closed December 24-25, 2018 and January 1, 2019. In addition, the Ministry of Manpower may stop accepting applications around this time, although no official announcement has been made.

Iraq

Government offices will be closed on January 1, 2019. The Ministry of Oil and Ministry of Interior will be open through the holidays but will stop receiving new applications on December 20, 2018, and will resume acceptance of applications on January 3, 2019.

Ireland [updated December 20]

Update: The Burgh Quay Registration Office and Emergency Re-entry Visa Office will be open on December 24 (from 9 AM to 1 PM local time), December 27-28 (from 10 AM to 2 PM local time) and December 31, 2018 (from 9 AM to 1 PM) local time. Normal operating hours will resume on January 2, 2019. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has not made any official announcements on holiday closures.

Israel

Though there are no scheduled closures in December or January, some consulates may have limited opening hours considering regional bank holidays. It is advisable to check consular and government office website before visiting.

Italy

Immigration authorities will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019. In general, immigration processing is expected to be delayed from December 23, 2018 until January 6, 2019 due to reduced staff.

Japan

The immigration authority will be closed December 24 and December 28, 2018-January 3, 2019. Delays due to limited staffing should be expected around this time.

Jordan

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Kazakhstan

Government offices will be closed December 17-18 and 31, 2018.

Kenya [updated December 20]:

The immigration authority will be closed on December 25, 26 and 31, 2018, and January 1, 2019. 

Update: The Work Permit deliberation committee at the Kenya Department of Immigration will not process long-term work permits until January 7, 2019. Special passes and short-term work authorizations will still be processed during this period.  It is likely that there will be processing delays after January 7 when the committee resumes work. Foreign nationals with pending long-term work permits and their employers should consider the closures and delays in their work start date plans.

Kuwait

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2019.

Latvia

Government offices will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Lebanon

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1 and 6, 2019.

Lesotho

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Liberia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Lithuania

Government offices will be closed December 24-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Luxembourg

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Applicants should anticipate processing delays due to reduced staff during the year-end period.

Madagascar

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Macau

The immigration authority will be closed December 20, 22, 24-26 and 31, 2018, and January 1, 2019.

Malaysia

Immigration offices across Malaysia (both West and East Malaysia) will be closed on December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Immigration offices will not accept any documents for application submission and passports for endorsement during the period of December 24, 2018 - January 2, 2019 (for East Malaysia). Delays should also be expected in West and East Malaysia during this period due to limited staffing.

Malawi

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Mauritius

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Malta

There are no government closures in December or January. However, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing.

Mexico

The Mexican National Immigration Institute in Mexico City and in other Mexican cities are expected to be closed December 19, 2018 until January 4, 2019. These closures are subject to change without advance notice.

Moldova

The immigration authority will be closed December 24-25 and 31, 2018, and January 1, 7 and 8, 2019.

Montenegro

Government offices will be closed January 1-2 and 7-8, 2019.

Morocco

Government offices will be closed on January 1 and 11, 2019.

Mozambique

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Myanmar

The immigration authority will be closed December 25 and 30, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Namibia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Netherlands

The immigration and labor authority will be closed December 25 and 26, 2018 and January 1, 2019. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

Nigeria

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Norway

The immigration authority will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2018 and January 1-2, 2019.

Oman

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2019.

Panama

Government offices are expected to be closed on December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Additionally, delays may be expected due to reduced workforce.

Papua New Guinea

Government offices will be closed December 21, 2018 until January 9, 2019.

Peru

Government offices are expected to be closed on December 24, 2018 and December 31, 2018. Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Philippines

Government offices and Philippine consular posts will be closed on December 24-25 and 31, 2018, and January 1, 2019. There may also be delays in government processing and operations around the Christmas holiday.

Poland

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Offices are also expected to close early, or to close fully at late notice, on December 24, 27, 28 and 31, 2018. Consular posts typically observe Polish national holidays and are similarly expected to close on these days. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Portugal

Government offices are expected to close December 24-26 and 31, 2018 and January 1-2, 2019.

Romania

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1-2 and 24, 2019.

Russia

Government offices will be closed January 1-8, 2019. No new applications can be filed during this period, and processing of pending applications will likely be delayed.

Serbia

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2 and 7, 2019. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

Singapore

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Slovakia

Government offices will be closed December 24-26, 2018, and January 1 and 6, 2019 In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

Slovenia

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1-2, 2019. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

South Korea

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Application processing at immigration offices will also generally slow down in December as the end of the year approaches.

Spain

Government offices will be closed December 6 and 25, 2018 and January 1 and 7, 2019. Government offices are expected to close early and schedule minimal appointments on December 24 and 31, 2018. Generally, reduced staffing during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

South Africa

Visa Facilitation Center (VFS) will be closed December 24, 2018 - January 2, 2019.

It will be open ONLY for the collection of outcomes on December 21, 27 and 28, 2018,

Sweden

Government offices will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2018, and January 1, 2019. Applicants should anticipate processing delays due to limited staff during the holiday period.

Switzerland

Government offices will be closed on the following days:

  • Federal migration office: December 25, 26 and 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019.
  • Aargau canton: December 24, 2018 up to and including January 2, 2019.
  • Bern canton: December 24-26, 2018 and January 1-2, 2019. The Migration office will also be closed on December 31, 2018.
  • Basel-Stadt canton: the Labor office will be closed December 25-26, 2018. The Migration office will be closed December 31, 2018 and January 1-2, 2019.
  • Geneva canton: December 25, 2018 up to and including January 2, 2019.
  • Luzern canton: December 25, 26 and 31, 2018 and January 1-2, 2019.
  • Schaffhausen canton: December 25, 2018 up to and including January 2, 2019. The Migration office will also be closed on December 24, 2018.
  • Solothurn canton: December 24, 2018 up to and including January 2, 2019.
  • Vaud canton: the Labor office will be closed December 25, 2018 up to and including January 2, 2019. The Migration office will be closed December 25, 26 and 31, 2018 and January 1-2, 2019.
  • Zurich canton: December 24, 2018 up to and including January 2, 2019.
  • Zug canton: December 25, 26 and 31, 2018 and January 1-2, 2019.

 

Federal offices will be closed from December 24, 2018 up to and including January 2, 2019. Note that each canton has its own operating hours and regional variations may apply.  

Taiwan

Government offices will be closed December 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Trinidad & Tobago

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

Thailand

Immigration authorities will be closed December 10 and 31, 2018, and January 1, 2019.

Tunisia

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2019.

Turkey

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2019.

Ukraine

Government offices will be closed December 24-25 and 31, 2018 and January 1 and 7, 2019. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

United Arab Emirates

Government authorities, including the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the General Directorates of Residency and Foreigners Affairs and Free Zone Government Services Offices will be closed January 1, 2018.

United Kingdom

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2018 and January 1, 2019. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times. Note that regional service centers are due to close in the course of December, and may not reopen under the new service provider, Sopra Steria, until January. 

Uruguay

Government offices will be closed at noon on December 24 and 31, 2018 and all day on December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Delays can be expected due to short staffing.

Venezuela

Government entities will be closed on December 24, 25, and 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019 due to public holidays. Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Vietnam

Government offices (including Vietnamese consular posts) will be closed December 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.