What is the change? Chinese New Year falls on Feb. 5 this year and offices in China, Singapore and many other Asian countries will close in observance.

What does the change mean? Government and private offices in China and other countries will be closed during the Lunar New Year celebration known as the Spring Festival. Applicants with time-sensitive fillings should plan ahead.

  • Implementation time frame: Feb. 4-10.
  • Visas/permits affected: All immigration-related services.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals seeking immigration-related services in China, Taiwan, Singapore and other Asian countries.
  • Impact on processing times: The one-week holiday may cause a backlog when services resume.
  • Next steps: To avoid delays, employers and foreign employees should submit applications ahead of the break if possible.

Background:  Asian countries celebrating Lunar New Year will welcome the Year of the Pig on Feb. 5. Days on which public offices will close vary from country to country:

  • China – Offices will be closed Feb. 4-10, with regular business resuming on Feb. 11.
  • Hong Kong – Offices will be closed Feb. 5-7, with regular business resuming on Feb. 8.
  • Singapore – Offices will be closed Feb. 5 and 6, with regular business resuming Feb. 7.
  • Taiwan – Offices will be closed Feb. 2-10, with regular business resuming on Feb. 11.
  • Vietnam – Offices will be closed for the Tet holiday Feb. 2-10, with regular business resuming on Feb. 11.

Chinese consular missions around the world are expected to observe the Lunar New Year and to be closed on Feb. 4 and 5, although each mission will publish individual holiday closures. Consular missions in India, for example, will be closed Feb. 4-8 in observance of Chinese New Year. Employees and employers should consult their local mission regarding holiday closures, as they will vary by location.

Analysis & Comments: Companies are encouraged to file work permit and other applications as early as possible before the holiday period.

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.