What is the change? The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, expected to begin around July 17, will close offices and delay processing of applications in many countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

What does the change mean? Private and public sector offices will close for one to 10 days depending on the individual country. Applicants should expect delays in processing of visas and work permits.

  • Implementation time frame: Approximately July 17 – July 28.
  • 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 the Breaking of the Fast) marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and is usually celebrated with three or more days of festivities. The holiday is also known as Bayram in Turkey, Hari Raya Puasa in Southeast Asia, and Korité or Tabaski in West Africa.

Some countries, including the United Arab Emirates, will wait to announce their holiday schedules closer to the end of the lunar month. Others have set the following public holiday schedules:

Brunei – July 17-21.
Indonesia – July 16-21.
Malaysia – July 17-18. Additionally, some public offices will close on July 16 and 20, and limited staffing is expected during the week of July 20.
Pakistan – July 17-19.
The Philippines – July 17.
Qatar – July 15-25. Work resumes Sunday, July 26.
Saudi Arabia – Public sector holiday July 12-21; private sector July 15-21.
Singapore – July 17.

BAL Analysis: Companies may 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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