What is the change? Government offices are expected to close in India, Singapore and a number of other countries in late October or early November 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: Roughly Oct. 29-Nov. 1. 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, and backlogs are possible when offices reopen.
  • Business Impact: Holiday delays may have a minor impact on business schedules.

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. Dates of closures vary from country to country. No official information is available yet for India, but offices are expected to be closed Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. In Singapore, the holiday will fall on Oct. 29, a Saturday, and certain offices are expected to be closed Oct. 31. In some countries, such as Malaysia, the holiday will be celebrated on the Oct. 29 weekend and office closures are not expected.

BAL Analysis: Companies and foreign employees should check with BAL 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.

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