Virginia, US

Dec 09 2019

Immigration Processing During the Holiday Season

Worldwide

At a Glance

  • During the holiday season, many government offices worldwide will close or have reduced staff and operating hours, likely resulting in processing delays for work permits, residence permits and visas over the coming weeks and into the new year.
  • Employers and foreign nationals with travel or relocation plans between now and early 2020 should contact their immigration service provider to discuss the impact of holiday closures on their specific circumstances.

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 2020 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, 2019, and January 1-2, 2020. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Algeria

The immigration authority will be closed January 1 and January 20, 2020.

Angola

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Argentina

Government offices will be closed December 24, 25 and 31, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Australia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Austria

The immigration authority in Vienna will be closed December 25-26, 2019, and January 1, 2020, and will have limited opening hours (8-11 AM local time) on December 24 and 31, 2019. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Azerbaijan

Government offices will be closed December 31, 2019 and January 1-6, 2020.

Bahrain

The immigration authority will be closed on December 16-17, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Belarus

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1-2 and 6-7, 2020. To compensate, the immigration authority will be open on January 4 and 11, 2020.

Belgium

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020. 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 are expected to close at 1 pm on December 24 and 31, 2019, and will be closed on December 25 and 26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Bolivia

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Bosnia

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2 and 7, 2020. 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, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Brazil

The Federal Police and other government offices are expected to close at 11 AM on December 24 and 31, 2019, and remain closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Brunei

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Bulgaria

The immigration authority will be closed December 24-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Cambodia

Government offices will be closed December 10, 2019 and January 1 and 7, 2020.

Cameroon

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Canada

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Foreign nationals traveling to Canada are reminded to confirm that their necessary travel documents (passports, work permits visas and/or electronic travel authorizations, 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, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Chile

Government offices are expected to close at 12 PM on December 24, 2019, and remain closed December 25 and 31, 2019, and January 1, 2020.

China

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2020.

Colombia

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2019. Additionally, some Professional Boards will be closed between December 23, 2019 and January 3, 2020. There may be delays due to a reduced workforce in all governmental offices.

Costa Rica

Government offices will be closed December 23, 2019 through January 3, 2020.

Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Croatia

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1 and 6, 2020. Government offices are expected to close early on December 24 and 31, 2019. In general, government offices will have limited staff between December 24, 2019 and January 7, 2020.

Cyprus

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1 and 6, 2020. Government offices will be operating at limited capacity on December 24 and 31, 2019.

Czech Republic

Government offices will be closed from December 23, 2019 up to and including January 1, 2020. Government offices will operate with limited staff January 2-3, 2020.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1 and 4, 2020.

Denmark

The immigration authorities will be closed from December 23, 2019 up to and including January 1, 2020.

Dominican Republic

The National Immigration Directorate is expected to close at 12 PM on December 24 and 31, 2019, and remain closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020. The public registry office (JCE) will be closed December 23-25, 30 and 31, 2019, and January 1, 2020. There may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Ecuador

Government offices will be closed on December 25, 30 and 31, 2019, and January 1, 2020. Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Egypt

Government offices are expected to be closed on January 1 and January 7, 2020.

Estonia

Government offices will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Eswatini

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 26 and 28 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Equatorial Guinea

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Ethiopia

The immigration authority will be closed January 7, 2020.

Finland

Government offices will be closed December 6 and 24-26, 2019 and January 1 and 6, 2020. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period will delay processing.

France

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2019, and January 1, 2020. 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, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Gambia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Ghana

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1 and 7, 2020.

Georgia

Government offices will be closed January 1-2 and 7, 2020.

Germany

Government offices will be closed December 24-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Reduced staff during the year-end period will affect appointment availability and application processing.

Greece

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Government offices are expected to close early on December 24 and 31, 2019. Applicants are advised to submit applications on December 20, 2019 at the latest. 

Guatemala

Government offices will be closed on December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020, and are also expected to be closed on December 24 and 31, 2019.

Guyana

Government offices are expected to close at 12 PM on December 24 and 31, 2019, and will be closed December 25 and 26, 2019, and January 1, 2020. Additionally, delays may be expected due to reduced workforce after December 10, 2019.

Hong Kong

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Hungary

The Labor Office front office will be closed December 16-27, 2019. 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 13, 2019 and January 2, 2020.

The Immigration Office will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2019 and January 1, 2020. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Iceland

Fragomen expects government offices to be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Although no formal announcement on closures is made, government offices are typically closed on public holidays. 

India

All Indian Missions abroad and local immigration offices will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Delays in government processing are anticipated in December and early January due to reduced staff.

Indonesia

Government offices will be closed December 24-25, 2019 and January 1, 2020. 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 December 10, 2019 and January 1 and 6, 2020.

Ireland

Fragomen expects Irish immigration authorities to be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020, with limited opening hours likely on December 24, 27-28 and 31, 2019. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) typically announce holiday closures in mid-December. Applicants should anticipate processing delays due to limited staff during the holiday period.

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 websites before visiting.

Italy

Immigration authorities will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1 and 6, 2020. In general, immigration processing is expected to be delayed from December 23, 2019 until January 6, 2020 due to reduced staff.

Japan

The immigration authority will be closed December 28, 2019 to January 5, 2020. Delays due to limited staffing should be expected around this time.

Jordan

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Kazakhstan

Government offices will be closed December 2 and 16-17, 2019 and January 1-4, 2020. Government offices will be open January 5 to compensate.

Kuwait

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2020.

Latvia

Government offices will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Lebanon

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1 and 6, 2020.

Lesotho

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Liberia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Lithuania

Government offices will be closed December 24-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Luxembourg

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Government offices will close early on December 24 and 31, 2019. Applicants should anticipate processing delays due to reduced staff during the year-end period.

Madagascar

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Macau

Government offices will be closed December 20, 22-26 and 31, 2019, and January 1, 2020.

Malaysia

Immigration offices across Malaysia (both West and East Malaysia) will be closed on December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020. They are also expected to close early the day before these holidays on December 24 and 31, 2019, respectively.

Malawi

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Mali

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Mauritius

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1-2, 2020.

Mauritania

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2020.

Malta

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Government offices will operate with limited staff January 2-3, 2020.

Mexico

The National Immigration Institute will be closed December 20, 2019 through January 1, 2020. 

Moldova

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019, and January 1 and 7-8, 2020.

Montenegro

Government offices will be closed January 1-2 and 6-8, 2020.

Morocco

Government offices will be closed on January 1 and 11, 2020.

Mozambique

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Namibia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Nepal

Government offices will be closed on December 12, 25 and 31, 2019.

Netherlands

The immigration and labor authorities will be closed December 25-27, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Additionally, the immigration authority will close at 1 PM on December 19, 2019. Fragomen expects regional immigration and municipal shared service centers (Expatcentra) to be closed on additional days between December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Applicants are advised to schedule appointments well in advance. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

New Zealand

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019, and January 1-2, 2020. In addition, offshore branches will be closed on the following dates: December 25-27, 2019 (Mumbai branch), December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020 (Beijing branch), and December 25, 2019 to January 2, 2020 (Pacific Island branches).

Nigeria

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Norway

The immigration authority will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2019 and January 1-2, 2020. The immigration authority will be open but operating at minimum capacity on December 23, 27 and 30, 2019 and January 3, 2020.

Oman

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2020.

Pakistan

The immigration authority will be closed on December 25 and 26, 2019.

Panama

Government offices are expected to close at 10 AM on December 24 and 31, 2019 and remain closed on December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Additionally, delays may be expected due to reduced workforce.

Papua New Guinea

The immigration authority will be closed December 21, 2019 until January 5, 2020. In addition, the authority will stop accepting new applications starting December 13. Only applications filed prior to this date will be processed until the authority closes on December 21.

Peru

Government offices are expected to be closed or close at 12 PM on December 24 and 31, 2019. They will remain closed on December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020. 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 30-31, 2019, and January 1, 2020. There may also be delays in government processing and operations around the Christmas holiday.

Poland

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Offices are also expected to close early, or to close fully at late notice, on December 24, 27 and 31, 2019. 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, 2019 and January 1-2, 2020, although a formal announcement is typically only made mid-December.

Qatar

Government offices will be closed December 18, 2019 and February 11., 2020

Romania

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1-2 and 24, 2020. Government offices 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.

Russia

Government offices will be closed January 1-8, 2020. No new applications can be filed during this period, and processing of pending applications will likely be delayed.

Rwanda

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1-2, 2020.

Senegal

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Serbia

Government offices will be closed January 1-2 and 7, 2020. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

Singapore

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Slovakia

Government offices will be closed December 24-26, 2019, and January 1 and 6, 2020. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

Slovenia

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1-2, 2020. 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, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Application processing at immigration offices will also generally slowdown in December as the end of the year approaches.

Spain

Government offices will be closed December 6 and 25, 2019 and January 1 and 7, 2020. Government offices are expected to close early and schedule minimal appointments on December 24 and 31, 2019. Generally, reduced staffing during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

South Africa

Visa Facilitation Center (VFS) will be closed December 19, 2019 - January 2, 2019.

Sri Lanka

Government offices will be closed December 11 and 25, 2019.

Sweden

Government offices will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2019, and January 1, 2020. Applicants should anticipate processing delays due to limited staff during the holiday period.

Switzerland

Government offices will be closed on the following days:

Canton Labor Office Migration Office

FEDERAL

December 25-26, 2019 and January 1-2, 2020.

On December 24 and 31, the authorities will close at 12 noon local time.

Aargau

December 24, 2019 up to and including January 3, 2020.

Bern

December 25-26, 2019 and January 1-2, 2020.

On December 24 and 31, the authorities will close at 12 noon local time.   

Basel

December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

On December 24 and 31, the authorities will close at 12 noon local time.  

Geneva

December 23, 2019 up to and including January 2, 2020.

Luzern

December 24, 2019 up to and including January 2, 2020.

December 24-26 and 31, 2019 and January 1-2, 2020.

Schaffhausen

December 24, 2019 up to and including January 3, 2020.

December 23, 2019 up to and including January 3, 2020.

On December 20, 2019, the Migration Office will close at 4 pm local time.

Solothurn

December 25, 2019 up to and including January 2, 2020. On December 24 the authorities will close at 12 noon.  

Vaud

December 25, 2019 up to and including January 6, 2020.

December 25-26, 2019 and January 1-2, 2020.

Zurich

December 24, 2019 up to and including January 6, 2020.

December 24, 2019 up to and including January 3, 2020.

Zug

December 24-26 and 31, 2019 and January 1-2, 2020.

December 24, 2019 up to and including January 3, 2020.

 

Taiwan

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2020.

Tanzania

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Trinidad & Tobago

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Thailand

Immigration authorities will be closed December 10 and 30-31, 2019, and January 1, 2020.

Tunisia

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2020.

Turkey

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2020.

Uganda

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Ukraine

Government offices will be closed December 25 and 31, 2019 and January 1 and 6-7, 2020. 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, 2020.

United Kingdom

Government offices will be closed December 25-26 2019 and January 1, 2020. Fragomen expects local service centers operated by Sopra Steria to be closed on further days between December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Uruguay

Government offices will be closed December 24, 25 and 31, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Delays can be expected due to short staffing.

Venezuela

Government entities will be closed on December 24, 25, and 31, 2019 and January 1, 2020 due to public holidays. Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Vietnam

Government offices (including Vietnamese consular posts) will be closed January 1, 2020.

Zambia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Zimbabwe

The immigration authority will be closed December 22, 25 and 26, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

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