The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 2 and processing is expected to be delayed as government offices across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia have shorter working hours.

Key Points:

  • Employers and employees should expect shorter than normal business hours from about April 2 through May 2; however, exact dates are dependent on lunar sightings and may vary from country to country.
  • Foreign nationals and employers should anticipate processing days during and after Ramadan. If possible, those with time-sensitive applications should file before Ramadan begins.
  • Government offices in many countries will close for three or more days for Eid al-Fitr immediately following Ramadan.

Additional Information: Ramadan is expected to begin April 2 but dates may vary depending on country-specific lunar sightings. Countries generally announce the first day of Ramadan closer to the beginning of the holy month when moon sighting predications are confirmed. Working hours vary from country to country; government offices generally close early.

BAL Analysis: Employers and employees are encouraged to plan ahead and file time-sensitive applications as soon as possible to avoid possible processing delays. Individuals should contact local authorities for more information on shorter working hours and closures. BAL will be monitoring government holiday announcements for Eid al-Fitr and will provide more information as it becomes available.

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

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