What is the change? Chinese New Year falls on Jan. 28 and will close offices in China, Singapore and other Asian countries that observe the lunar new year.

What does the change mean? Applicants should expect closures and delays in processing between Jan. 26 and Feb. 2 and should plan accordingly.

  • Implementation time frame: Jan. 26 through Feb. 2.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits and other immigration-related services.
  • Who is affected: Applicants seeking immigration-related services in China, Hong Kong Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam, among other countries.
  • Impact on processing times: Applicants should expect delays of up to one week.
  • Next steps: Time-sensitive applications should be filed well before the holiday break, if possible.

Background: Asian countries celebrating Lunar New Year will welcome the Year of the Rooster on Jan. 28. Varying holiday periods will be observed as follows:

China – Public holiday Jan. 27 through Feb. 2. Business resumes Feb. 3.

Hong Kong – Public holiday Jan. 28 through Jan. 31. Business operations resume Feb. 1.

Singapore –Public holiday observed Jan. 30. Many private offices, including BAL Singapore, will close Jan. 30 and 31.

Taiwan – Government offices closed Jan. 27 through Feb. 1, resuming Feb. 2.

Vietnam – Tet holiday observed Jan. 26 through Feb. 1, with operations resuming Feb. 2.

BAL Analysis: Employers and individuals should plan now for the holiday closures and check consulates for related closures. Applicants should check with their BAL team for individual countries and offices.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in China. For additional information, please contact

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