Connecticut, US

Jan 23 2019

Lunar New Year to Cause Government Closures, Travel Delays

Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam

The situation

Millions of people are expected to travel throughout East and Southeast Asia during the Lunar New Year holiday season. Travel-related delays and government and business interruptions will peak February 5 to February 6 and could last longer in Macau, Vietnam, Taiwan and China where the holiday will be celebrated through February 10.

To meet travel demand, some airlines have increased flight options, while railways have added additional trains. However, possible poor weather may exacerbate delays.

A closer look

Government offices for the following countries will be closed on the following dates:

  • Brunei: February 5;
  • China: February 4-10;
  • Hong Kong: February 5-7;
  • India: Diplomatic missions in the region will generally be open except for those in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam which will be closed on February 5. Diplomatic missions will also be closed in South Korea on February 4 and in Taiwan on February 4-5. Processing times are expected to increase by 2-3 business days;
  • Indonesia: February 5;
  • Macau: February 4 (starting 1 pm) to February 7;
  • Malaysia: February 5-6;
  • Philippines: February 5;
  • Singapore: February 5-6;
  • South Korea: February 4-6;
  • Taiwan: February 2-10;
  • Vietnam: February 4-8.

 

Impact

Due to government and business closures during the Lunar New Year, travelers should make their travel plans in advance and should expect travel delays and interruptions.

Visa and permit applicants should submit applications as early as possible and should contact their processing office to determine exact closure dates and the effect on individual applications. Applications submitted nearer to closure dates may not be accepted or acted upon until government offices reopen.

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