Dec 11 2020

Immigration Processing During the Holiday Season

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

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 2021 should contact their immigration service provider to discuss the impact of holiday closures on their specific circumstances.
  • These closures are in addition to closures of government offices due to COVID-19. Check Fragomen’s dedicated website for up-to-date information on COVID-19-related government closures, travel restrictions and other related information. 
Albania

Government authorities are expected to close December 25, 2020, and January 1-4, 2021. Further closure dates may be announced at short notice. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

 

Algeria

The immigration authority will be closed January 1 and January 12, 2021.

 

Angola

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Argentina

Government offices are expected to close December 24, 25 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Australia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-28, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Austria

The immigration authority in Vienna will be closed December 24-25 and 31, 2020, and January 1 and 6, 2021. Immigration authorities in all locations will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1 and 6, 2021 and are expected to either be closed a full day or at 12:00 (local time) on December 24 and 31, 2020. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

 

Azerbaijan

Government offices will be closed December 31, 2020 and January 1-4 and 20, 2021.

 

Bahamas

Government offices will be closed on December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Bangladesh

Government offices will be closed on December 16 and 25, 2020.  

 

Bahrain

Government offices will be closed on December 16-17, 2020, December 25, 2020 and January 1 and 3, 2021.

 

Benin

Government offices will be closed on December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Belarus

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1 and 7-8, 2021. To compensate, the immigration authority will be open on January 16, 2021 (Saturday).

 

Belgium

Regional employment ministries are closed on the following days:

  • Brussels: December 25, 2020 until January 4, 2021
  • Flanders: December 25, 2020 until January 1, 2021
  • Wallonia: December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021

Federal and municipal authorities will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021 and are expected to be closed or close early on other days between December 24, 2020-January 1, 2021. This is typically announced at short notice. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing.

 

Bermuda

Government offices are expected to close between 12:00 and 15:00 (local time) on December 24, 2020, and will be closed December 25 and 28, 2020, and January 1, 2021.

 

Bolivia

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Bosnia

Government offices will be closed December 24-25, 2020, and January 1-2 and 6-7, 2021. In general, a reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

 

Botswana

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-28, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Brazil

The Federal Police and other government offices are expected to close at 12:00 (local time) on December 24 and 31, 2020, and remain closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Brunei

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Bulgaria

Government offices will be closed December 24-28, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Burkina Faso

Government offices will be closed on December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021

 

Burundi

Government offices will be closed on December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Cambodia

There are no government office closures during the holiday period.

 

Cameroon

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Canada

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2020 and January 1, 2021. Foreign nationals entering Canada on those days should still be able to apply for work permits at ports of entry, although there will be reduced staff.

 

Cape Verde

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Chad

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Chile

Government offices are expected to close at 12:00 (local time) on December 24 through December 25, 2020 and at 12:00 (local time) on December 31, 2020 through January 1, 2021.

 

China

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2021.

 

Costa Rica

Government offices are expected to be closed December 18, 2020 through January 3, 2021.

 

Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Croatia

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1 and 6, 2021. Government offices are expected to close early on December 24 and 31, 2020 and January 5, 2021. This is typically only formally confirmed on the day before closure. Government offices will have limited staff between December 24, 2020 and January 7, 2021.

 

Cyprus

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1 and 6, 2021. Government offices will be operating at limited capacity on December 31, 2020.

 

Czech Republic

Government offices will be closed from December 23, 2020 up to and including January 1, 2021.

 

Democratic Republic of Congo

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1 and 4, 2021.

 

Denmark

The immigration authorities will be closed from December 24, 2020 up to and including January 1, 2021.

 

Dominican Republic

Government offices will be closed on December 25, 2020, and January 1, 4, 21 and 25, 2021.

 

Ecuador

Government offices will be closed on December 25, 2020, and January 1, 2021. Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

 

Egypt

Government offices are expected to be closed on January 1, 7 and 25, 2021.

 

El Salvador

Government offices will be closed December 23, 2020 through January 4, 2021.

 

Estonia

Government offices will be closed December 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Eswatini

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 26 and 28 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Equatorial Guinea

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Ethiopia

The immigration authority will be closed January 7, 2021.

 

Finland

Government offices will be closed December 24-25, 2020 and January 1 and 6, 2021. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period will delay processing.

 

France

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020, and January 1, 2021. 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, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Gambia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Ghana

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2020 and January 1 and 7, 2021.

 

Germany

Government offices are expected to close December 25, 2020, December 26, 2020 and January 1, 2021 throughout Germany. Additionally, in the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, and Saxony-Anhalt government offices are expected to close on January 6, 2021. Further closures may be announced at short notice. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period will affect appointment availability and application processing.

 

Greece

Government offices are expected to be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1 and 6, 2021. Government offices are expected to close at noon on December 24 and 31, 2020. Applicants are advised to submit applications on December 20, 2020 at the latest.

 

Guatemala

The immigration and labor authorities will be closed December 24, 25 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Guyana

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020, and January 1, 2021. Additionally, delays may be expected due to reduced workforce after December 15, 2020.

 

Honduras

The immigration and labor authorities will be closed December 24, 25, 30 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021. The Supreme Court of Justice (in charge of document certifications) will be closed December 16, 2020 through January 6, 2021.

 

Hong Kong

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Hungary

Public offices are expected to be closed December 24-26, 2020 and January 1, 2021. To compensate, public offices will exceptionally open December 12, 2020 (Saturday). Between December 24, 2020 and January 1, 2021, all public offices will operate with limited staff, which may delay processing times.

 

Iceland

Government offices will be closed December 24-25 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021. From December 21, 2020 until January 4, 2021, the Immigration office will be open for pre-scheduled appointments until 14:00 (local time); the Directorate of Labour and the National Register remain closed due to COVID-19 but continue to offer phone services on these days until 15:00 (local time).

 

India

All Indian Missions abroad and local immigration offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021. Delays in government processing are anticipated in December and early January due to reduced staff.

 

Indonesia

Government offices will be closed December 24-25 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021. Delays due to limited staffing should be expected around this time.

 

Iraq

Government offices will be closed on January 1 and 6, 2021.

 

Iraqi Kurdistan

Government offices will be closed beginning December 27, 2020 and will reopen on January 3, 2021.

 

Ireland

Fragomen expects Irish immigration authorities to be closed December 25 and 28, 2020 and January 1, 2021, with limited opening hours likely on December 24 and 31, 2020. The Department of Justice (Immigration Service Delivery) and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment 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 due to regional bank holidays. It is advisable to check consular and government office websites before visiting.

 

Italy

Immigration authorities will be closed December 8, 25-26, 2020 and January 1 and 6, 2021. In general, immigration processing is expected to be delayed from December 23, 2020 until January 6, 2021 due to reduced staff.

 

Japan

The immigration authority will be closed December 29, 2020 to January 3, 2021. Delays due to limited staffing should be expected around this time.

 

Jordan

Government offices are expected to close on December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Kazakhstan

Government offices will be closed December 1 and 16-17, 2020 and January 1-2 and 7, 2021.

 

Kuwait

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2021.

 

Latvia

Government offices will be closed December 24-26 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021. Public services are currently provided remotely as much as possible.

 

Lebanon

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1 and 6, 2021.

 

Lesotho

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Liberia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Lithuania

Government offices will be closed December 24-25, 2020 and January 1, 2021. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

 

Luxembourg

Government offices are expected to be closed December 25-26, 2020 and January 1, 2021 and to close early on December 24 and 31, 2020. Formal confirmation is expected at short notice. Applicants should anticipate processing delays due to reduced staff during the year-end period.

 

Madagascar

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Macau

Government offices will be closed December 21-22, 24-25 and 31 (afternoon only), 2020, and January 1, 2021.

 

Malaysia

Immigration offices across Malaysia (both East and West Malaysia) will be closed on December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021. They are also expected to close early on December 24 and 31, 2020.

 

Malawi

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Mali

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Mauritius

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1-2, 2021.

 

Mauritania

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2021.

 

Mexico

The National Immigration Institute will be closed December 25, 2020 through January 3, 2021.

 

Moldova

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020, and January 1 and 7-8, 2021.

 

Montenegro

Government offices will be closed January 1 and 6-8, 2021.

 

Morocco

Government offices will be closed on January 1, 2021.

 

Mozambique

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Myanmar

The immigration authority will be closed December 25 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Namibia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Nepal

There are no government office closures during the holiday period.

 

Netherlands

The immigration and labor authorities will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021. Additionally, the immigration authority will close at 16:00 (local time) on December 24 and 31, 2020. Fragomen expects regional immigration and municipal shared service centers (Expatcentra) to be closed on additional days between December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021, e.g., IN Amsterdam will be closed December 25, 2020 to January 1, 2021. 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, 2020 - January 5, 2021. In addition, offshore branches will be closed on the following dates: December 25-28, 2020 and January 1, 2021 (Beijing branch), December 25, 2020 - January 3, 2021 (Pacific Island branches), and December 23, 2020 - January 3, 2021 (Suva branch).

 

Nicaragua

The immigration authority will be closed December 24, 25 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021. The Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be closed December 18, 2020 through January 3, 2021.

 

Nigeria

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Norway

The Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA) Oslo is operating with limited hours due to an ongoing strike and refurbishment, and is closed December 24-25 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

SUA Stavanger and Trondheim are closed December 24, 2020 until January 1, 2021.

SUA Bergen is closed December 24, 2020 until January 3, 2021.

 

Oman

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2021.

 

Pakistan

The immigration authority will be closed on December 25 and 26, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Panama

Government offices are expected to close at 12:00 (local time) on December 24, 2020 and remain closed on December 25, 2020 and to close at 12:00 (local time) on December 31, 2020 and remain closed on January 1, 2021. Delays may be expected due to reduced workforce.

 

Papua New Guinea

The foreign employment division office of the Labour Department will be closed from December 18, 2020  through January 12, 2021. Additionally, the Immigration and Citizenship Authority will be closed on December 18, 2020 through January 4, 2021. Renewal applications for Work Permits expiring between November 2020 and January 2021 must be submitted on or before December 27, 2020.  

 

Paraguay

Government offices are expected to close December 24, 25 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Peru

The immigration authority will be closed on December 24, 25 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Philippines

Government offices and Philippine consular posts will be closed on December 24-25 and 30-31, 2020, and January 1, 2021. There may also be delays in government processing and operations around the Christmas holiday.

 

Poland

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1 and 6, 2021. Offices are also expected to close early, or to close for the entire day at late notice, on December 24 and 31, 2020. Consular posts typically observe Polish national holidays and are similarly expected to close on these days. Reduced staff during the year-end will delay processing times.

 

Portugal

Government offices are expected to close December 24-25 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021, although a formal announcement is typically only made mid-December.

 

Qatar

Government offices will be closed December 18, 2020 and are expected to close on another date surrounding this holiday.

 

Romania

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2020 and January 1-2 and 24, 2021. Government offices are expected to be closed or close early on other days in December and January, but these dates are typically announced on short notice. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing.

 

Russia

Government offices will be closed January 1-10, 2021. No new applications can be filed during this period, and processing of pending applications will likely be delayed. Fragomen expects document acceptance and issuance to be very limited on December 30-31, 2020.

 

Rwanda

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-28, 2020 and January 1-2, 2021.

 

Sao Tome & Principe

The immigration authority will be closed December 21 and 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Senegal

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Seychelles

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Serbia

Government offices will be closed January 1-2 and 7, 2021. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

 

Singapore

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Slovakia

Government offices will be closed December 24-26, 2020, and January 1 and 6, 2021. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

 

Slovenia

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2020 and January 1-2, 2021, and will operate at reduced capacity December 27-31, 2020. Fragomen expects pre-scheduled appointment options during this timeframe to be very limited.

 

South Korea

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021. 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 7-8, 24-25 and 31, 2020 and January 1 and 6, 2021. Generally, reduced staffing during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times.

 

South Africa

Visa Facilitation Center (VFS) will be closed December 18, 2020 through January 4, 2021.

 

South Sudan

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Sri Lanka

Government offices will be closed December 25 and 29, 2020 and January 14 and 28, 2021.

 

Sweden

Government offices will be closed December 25 and 31, 2020, and January 1 and 6, 2021. Open hours may be limited on January 5, 2021. Applicants should anticipate processing delays due to limited staff during the holiday period.

 

Switzerland

Government offices will be closed on the following days:

  • Federal, Basel and Bern: Closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021. On December 24 and 31, the authorities will close at 12:00 (local time).
  • Aargau, Geneva, Luzern, Vaud, Zug, Zürich: Closed December 24, 2020 up to and including January 3, 2021.
  • Schaffhausen, Solothurn: Closed December 25, 2020 up to and including January 3, 2021. On December 24, 2020, the authorities will close at 12:00 (local time).

 

Taiwan

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2021.

 

Tanzania

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Trinidad & Tobago

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Thailand

Immigration authorities will be closed December 10-11 and 31, 2020, and January 1, 2021.

 

Tunisia

Government offices are expected to be closed January 1, 2021.

 

Turkey

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2021.

 

Uganda

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Ukraine

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1 and 7-8, 2021. Authorities typically work at minimum capacity from December 21, 2020 through January 15, 2021, causing processing delay. Consular posts may follow Ukrainian closure dates. Please check with your consular post.

 

United Arab Emirates

Government authorities in the mainland and Freezones will be closed January 1, 2021.

 

United Kingdom

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021. Fragomen expects local service centers operated by Sopra Steria to be closed on further days between December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

 

Uruguay

Government offices are expected to close December 24, 25 and 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Vietnam

There are no government office closures during the holiday period.

 

Zambia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

 

Zimbabwe

The immigration authority will be closed December 22, 25 and 26, 2020 and January 1, 2021.