What is the change? Papua New Guinea’s labour and immigration agencies will be closed 19 December through 5 January for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

What does the change mean? Employers should plan to file new work permit and renewal applications as soon as possible. New work permit applications must be submitted no later than 27 November in order to be processed before the new year; they will not be accepted between 27 November and 5 January. Renewal applications due November/December 2015 or January/February 2016 should also be lodged as soon as possible and no later than 18 December, as renewal applications are due three months prior to the expiration date of the work permit. Offices will reopen for normal business 6 January 2016.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits, including renewals.
  • Who is affected: Employers filing new work permit applications or renewals.
  • Impact on processing times: Work permit processing normally takes two to three weeks. Those who do not file work permit applications by the requested dates risk serious delays.
  • Business impact: Assignments and business schedules could be delayed or interrupted if applications are held over until the new year.
  • Next steps: Employers should file applications as soon as possible and should pay special attention to renewals in cases where existing work permits will expire between now and February.

Background: Papua New Guinea’s labour agency regularly closes for at least two weeks during the holiday season. Government offices will remain open until 18 December for the collection of work permit approvals, but new applications will not be accepted after 27 November.

BAL Analysis: November is considered peak season for work permit applicants in Papua New Guinea. The long holiday closures make it crucial for employers to file work permits or renewals as soon as possible. Contact your BAL professional if you need help completing a new work permit application or renewal before the filing cut-off dates.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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