What is the change? Papua New Guinea’s peak application season has arrived, as applicants are rushing to submit visa and permit applications ahead of office closures in December and January.

What does the change mean? Those with time-sensitive applications should file them as soon as possible. Work permit applications, including renewals, must be received no later than Nov. 30 to be processed before the break begins.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. Offices will close for at least two weeks for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and will likely reopen Jan. 4 or 5.
  • Visas/permits affected:  Work and entry permits, restricted employment visas and other immigration services.
  • Who is affected: Anyone applying for work and entry permits, restricted employment visas or needing other immigration services in Papua New Guinea
  • Impact on processing times:  Processing will come to a halt for much of December and the possibility of delays should be expected both before government offices close for the holidays and after they reopen.
  • Business impact: Employers should factor in the holiday closures and resulting delays when planning business schedules and start dates.
  • Next steps: Time-sensitive applications should be filed as soon as possible and, in the case of work permits, no later than Nov. 30.

Background: The peak application season in Papua New Guinea usually starts in October, as the country prepares for offices to be closed in December and January. This year, the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations (DLIR) and the Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority will be closed for at least two weeks and are expected to reopen Jan. 4 or 5. Work permit and work permit renewal applications must be submitted to DLIR no later than Nov. 30 in order to be processed before the New Year. Visa lodgements will be tended to until Dec. 18 or 19.

BAL Analysis: Entry visa and work permit applicants are advised to prepare time-sensitive applications as soon as possible. The last date for filing a work permit application to be processed before the New Year is Nov. 30, but it is a good idea to submit applications for both visas and work permits prior to that date if possible.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Papua New Guinea. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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