What is the change? The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, expected to begin around July 4 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:Approximately July 5-8.
  • 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 holiday is expected to begin July 5 or 6, 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 the following public holiday schedules:

Brunei – Estimated July 6-8.
Bangladesh – July 1-7.
Indonesia – July 6-7 (may extend to July 5 and 8).
Malaysia – Official holiday July 6-7, but expect reduced government staffing July 4-10.
Pakistan – July 6-10.
Saudi Arabia – June 30 – July 11. Government offices reopen July 12.
Singapore – July 6.
Sri Lanka – July 6.
Turkey – July 2-10.
United Arab Emirates – Approximately July 3-9.

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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