What is the change? The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, expected to begin around June 14 at sunset, will close offices and delay processing of applications in countries across the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia, and at their consular missions around the world.

What does the change mean? Offices will close for three to 10 days, depending on the country. Applicants should expect delays in processing of visas and work permits.

  • Implementation time frame: The holiday is estimated to begin June 15 and last several days, depending on location.
  • Who is affected: Applicants for all visas and permits.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing delays will range from one to 10 days, depending on local schedules.
  • Next steps: Time-sensitive filings should be completed before the holiday break to avoid delays.

Background: Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast) marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and is celebrated with three or more days of festivities. The holiday is also known as Ramazan Bayrami in Turkey, Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore, and Korité or Tabaski in West Africa.

The office closures are expected to begin June 15 or 16, depending on the length of the lunar month. Some countries will announce their holiday schedules closer to the end of Ramadan or when a new moon is sighted. Others have set public holiday schedules. June 15 and 16 fall on the weekend for some Persian Gulf countries.

  • Bangladesh – June 15-17, and possibly June 18.
  • Indonesia – June 15.
  • Malaysia – June 15.
  • Oman – June 14-18.
  • Philippines – June 15.
  • Saudi Arabia – Estimated June 15-23.
  • Singapore – June 15.
  • Turkey – June 14-15.
  • United Arab Emirates – June 14-17.

Malaysia’s MYXpats Centre will close for a half day June 14 and a full day June 15. Malaysia’s eXpats Service Centre will close June 14-17, with filing decision cutoff dates before the holidays of June 1 for Stage 1 applications and June 8 for Stage 2 applications.

Across most of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, government offices are expected to close June 14-17, with Saudi Arabia likely to close for the entire week.

BAL Analysis: Time-sensitive filings should be submitted as early as possible before the holiday break. Companies may wish to contact their BAL representative for individual country and consular schedules.

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

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