What is the change? The Islamic month of Ramadan will begin around June 18, and related observances will significantly shorten business hours and slow processing in many countries during the lunar month.

What does the change mean? Companies and foreign nationals applying for visas and work permits in countries that observe Ramadan should plan to file time-sensitive applications as early as possible to avoid delays.

  • Implementation time frame: Approximately June 18 – July 24; dates will vary by country. Also note that in some countries, businesses start slowing down one week prior to the start of Ramadan.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visas and work permits for foreign nationals.
  • Impact on processing times: During this time period, applicants should expect reduced business hours, especially on Fridays, and resulting delays in processing. Business hours will be shorter during Ramadan, and government and private-sector offices will be closed for three to five days during the Eid holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.
  • Business impact: Holiday delays can impact employee start dates and business schedules.
  • Next steps: Employers should work to finalize documentation so applications may be filed and adjudicated before the month arrives.

Background: Countries across the Muslim world will observe Ramadan beginning around June 18 and ending around July 17, immediately followed by the Eid holiday of three to five days. Dates can vary from location to location depending on whether a country sets the date in advance or waits until a new moon is sighted to declare the beginning of the month.

Many government offices have shorter hours of operation during Ramadan. Some countries may also reduce Friday business hours to half-day schedules unless they already observe a Friday-Saturday weekend.

BAL Analysis: Businesses are urged to plan ahead to minimize any negative impact on business schedules.

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

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