Worldwide: Immigration Processing During the Holiday Season

During the holiday season, many government offices worldwide will close or have reduced staff and hours of operation, likely resulting in processing delays for work permits, residence permits and visas over the coming weeks and into the new year.

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Dec 11, 2017
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During the holiday season, many government offices worldwide will close or have reduced staff and hours of operation, likely resulting in processing delays for work permits, residence permits and visas over the coming weeks and into the new year.

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 2018 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 8, 2017, December 25, 2017 and January 1-2, 2018. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Algeria 

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2018.

Angola

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Armenia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Australia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-27, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Austria

The immigration authority will be closed December 8, 2017, December 25-26, 2017, and January 1, 2018. During the year-end season there may be processing delays as the authority will work with reduced staff.

Azerbaijan

The immigration authority will likely be closed January 1-3, 2018.

Bahrain

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2018.

Belarus

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Bolivia

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018. Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Botswana

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Brazil

Government offices are expected to be closed on December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018. Additional closures may be decided on short notice, and delays due to reduced workforce should also be expected.

Brunei

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Bulgaria 

The immigration authority will be closed December 23-27, 2017 and December 30, 2017 - January 1, 2018. Government offices are expected to close slightly early December 28-29, 2017. 

Burkina Faso

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Burundi

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Cambodia

Government offices will be closed January 1 and 7, 2018.

Cameroon

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Canada

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

Chad

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

China

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2018.

Colombia

Government closures are expected on December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018. Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Congo (Republic of)

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Costa Rica

The immigration authority will be closed December 18, 2017 - January 15, 2018. The offices will only operate for passport pick up and issuance of travel permits for minors (except on December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018, which are public holidays). 

Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018. 

Croatia

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018. 

Cyprus

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017. The last day for filing applications in 2017 is December 29, 2017. The first day for filing applications in 2018 is January 2, 2018.

Czech Republic

The immigration authorities will be closed December 25, 2017. The last day for filing applications in 2017 is December 21, 2017. The first day for filing applications in 2018 is January 1, 2018. 

Democratic Republic of Congo

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Denmark

The immigration authorities will be closed December 23, 2017 - January 2, 2018. Applications can be filed during this period, but the authorities will only start processing them upon reopening. 

Dominican Republic

No official closures other than December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018. Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Ecuador

Government offices are expected to be closed on December 25, 2015 and January 1, 2018.  Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Estonia

The immigration authorities will be closed December 22, 25, 26 and 29, 2017 and January 1, 2018. The last day for filing applications in 2017 is December 28, 2017. The first day for filing applications in 2018 is January 2, 2018.

Equatorial Guinea

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Ethiopia

The immigration authority will be closed January 7, 2018.

Finland

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018. From December 18, 2017 until January 5, 2018, government offices will have reduced staff. We anticipate difficulties in arranging appointments in this period, as well as considerable delays in application processing. 

France

Government offices may be closed December 25, 2017, and January 1, 2018. Delays due to limited staffing during the holidays should be expected.

Gabon

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Gambia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Ghana

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Georgia

Public offices will be closed the afternoon of December 31, 2017, January 1-2, 2018, January 7, 2018 and January 19, 2018. 

Germany 

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018. Reduced staff during the year-end period will affect appointment availability and application processing. 

Greece

The immigration authorities will not be closed during the year-end period. The department responsible for biometric data appointments will be closed from December 25, 2017 - January 5, 2018. New applications will be affected by this closure. The last day to submit biometric data in 2017 is December 22, 2017. The first day to submit biometric data in 2018 is January 8, 2018. 

Hong Kong

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Hungary

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Indonesia

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018. In addition, the Ministry of Manpower will not accept any applications December 22, 2017-January 1, 2018.

Ireland

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Israel

Government offices may have reduced staff December 13-20, 2017. 

Italy

Immigration authorities will be closed December 25-27, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Japan

The immigration authority will be closed December 23 and December 29, 2017-January 3, 2018. Additionally, Japan will celebrate Coming of Age Day on January 8, 2017. Delays due to limited staffing should be expected around this time.

Kuwait

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2018.

Latvia

The immigration authorities will be closed December 25-26, 2017. 

Lesotho 

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Liberia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Lithuania

The immigration authorities will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Luxembourg

Government offices will not be closed. However, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times.

Madagascar

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Macau

The immigration authority will be closed December 20, 22, 25 and 26, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Malaysia

Immigration offices across Malaysia (both West and East Malaysia) will be closed on December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018. Immigration offices will not accept any document (including passports for endorsement) or payment submitted on December 29, 2017 (for West Malaysia), or during the period of December 22, 2017-January 2, 2018 (for East Malaysia). Delays should also be expected in East Malaysia during this same period due to limited staffing.

Malawi

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Malta

Government offices will be closed on December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Mexico

The Mexican National Immigration Institute in Mexico City and in other Mexican cities will be closed starting December 17, 2017. Normal operating hours are expected to resume by January 9, 2018. These closure periods are subject to change without advance notice.

Moldova

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 7 and 8, 2018. 

Montenegro

The immigration authority will be closed January 1-2 and 8, 2018.

Mozambique

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Namibia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Netherlands

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times. 

New Zealand

All Immigration New Zealand offices will be partially closed December 22, 2017-January 3, 2018 due to limited staffing.

Nigeria

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Norway

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017-January 2, 2018. 

Oman

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2018.

Panama

Government offices are expected to be closed on December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018, as these are public holidays. Additionally, delays may be expected due to reduced workforce. 

Papua New Guinea

Government offices will be closed December 22, 2017 until January 2, 2018.

Paraguay

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018. Delays can be expected due to short staffing.

Peru

Government offices are expected to be closed on December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018, as these are public holidays. Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Philippines

Government offices (including Philippine Embassies and Consulates) will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018. There may also be delays in government processing and operations around the Christmas holiday.

Poland

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018. In general, reduced staff during the year-end period may delay processing times. 

Republic of Guinea

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Romania

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1-2, 2018.

Russia

Government offices will be closed January 1-8, 2018. No new applications can be filed during this period, and processing of pending applications will likely be delayed. 

Senegal

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Serbia

The immigration authority will be closed January 1-2, 2018.

Singapore

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Slovakia

Government offices will be closed December 24-26, 2017, January 1, 2018 and January 6, 2018. Reduced staff during the year-end period is expected to delay processing times through to January. 

Slovenia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1-2, 2018. 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, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Spain

The immigration authority will be closed December 8, 2017, December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018. The authorities are expected to face processing delays.  

South Africa
• Visa Facilitation Center (VFS) will be closed December 25 and 26, 2017, and January 1-2, 2018.
• Final day for 2017 submissions at VFS:  December 20, 2017.
• Only collections department at VFS will remain open (from 8am - 2 pm):  December 21, 22, 27-29, 2017. 

Reminder: visa applications from within South Africa should be submitted 60 days prior to the expiry to the current visa.

Sweden

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017, January 1, 2018, and the afternoon of January 5, 2018. 

Switzerland

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017, and January 1, 2018. 

Taiwan

Government offices will be closed January 1, 2018.

Tanzania

The immigration authority will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Trinidad & Tobago

Government offices will be closed December 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Thailand

Immigration authorities will be closed December 11, 2017 and January 1-2, 2018.

Turkey

Immigration authorities will be closed January 1, 2018. 

Ukraine

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017. 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, 2017 and January 1, 2018. 

Uruguay

Government offices will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018. Delays can be expected due to short staffing.

Venezuela

Government entities will be closed on December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018 due to public holidays. Additionally, there may be delays due to a reduced workforce.

Vietnam

Government offices (including Vietnamese Embassies and Consulates) will be closed January 1, 2018.

Zambia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Zimbabwe

The immigration authority will be closed December 22, 25-26, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates, (collectively known as “Fragomen Worldwide”) is the world’s largest firm dedicated to corporate immigration, and is recognized as the leading global immigration services provider.

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