What is the change? Government offices will close in India, Singapore and a number of other countries this week to celebrate the Hindu holiday of Diwali.

What does the change mean? Employers and foreign nationals who need government services should prepare for holiday-related delays.

  • Implementation time frame: On and around Oct. 18. Government closures will vary from country to country.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas, permits and other immigration services.
  • Who is affected: Anyone needing to obtain visas, work permits, renewals or other immigration-related services.
  • Impact on processing times: Delays should be expected due to office closures. Backlogs are possible when offices reopen.

Background: Diwali, also called Deepavali, is the Hindu festival of lights, celebrating the triumph of good over evil. It is celebrated in Fiji, Guyana, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, among other countries. Closure dates vary from country to country and, in some cases, may be prolonged. Argentine consulates in India, for example, were closed Monday for an Argentine holiday honoring cultural diversity and will close Thursday and Friday for Diwali. A statement from the consulate general of Argentina in Mumbai said those in need of services should expect delays.

BAL Analysis: Holiday delays may have a minor impact on business schedules. Companies and foreign employees should check with their BAL attorney or local officials on the dates of office closures.

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

Copyright © 2017 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact