What is the change? The Islamic month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around May 6, causing processing to slow down as offices in countries with significant Muslim populations curtail working hours.

What does the change mean? Employers and individuals should anticipate shorter business hours from about May 6 through June 3. Offices in many countries will close for three or more days for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which immediately follows Ramadan. If possible, employers should file time-sensitive applications before Ramadan begins.

  • Implementation time frame: Approximately May 6 through June 3. Some countries also begin to slow down one week before Ramadan.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visas, work permits and immigration-related services.
  • Impact on processing times: Applicants should expect reduced working hours and resulting delays in processing.
  • Business impact: Employers should factor in the slower processing when planning start dates and business schedules.

Background: Ramadan is a time when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset and increase time spent in prayer and introspection. The month is expected to begin around May 6, but dates may vary by one or two days, depending on local practices. Individual countries typically announce the first day of Ramadan closer to the beginning of the month when actual or predicted moon sightings are confirmed. Working hours vary by country and government offices tend to close early. The Eid al-Fitr holiday, immediately following Ramadan, will close offices for three or more days in many countries across the Middle East, North and West Africa, and Central and Southeast Asia.

Analysis & Comments: Businesses and travelers are encouraged to plan ahead and file time-sensitive applications as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delays. Those in need of services should check with individual offices for Ramadan hours when the holiday draws closer.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.