What is the change? Government offices in a number of Muslim countries will close next month for the Eid al-Adha holiday.

What does the change mean? Employers and foreign nationals who need government services should submit applications as soon as possible to avoid holiday-related delays. Foreign nationals traveling to Saudi Arabia during this time, including those traveling for the Hajj pilgrimage, must have a visa to enter Saudi Arabia.

  • Implementation time frame: Closures will vary from country to country and, in many cases, are not yet confirmed. Saudi Arabia is likely to observe and extended public holiday from roughly Aug. 5-17. Other countries will observes shorter holidays on or around Aug. 11.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas, permits and other immigration-related government services.
  • Who is affected: Anyone needing to obtain visas, work permits, renewals or other immigration-related government services.
  • Impact on processing times: Delays should be expected owing to office closures and possible backlogs after offices reopen.
  • Business Impact: Holiday delays may impact business schedules and start dates.

Background: Eid al-Adha, which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage and honors Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to God, will fall on or around Aug. 11, though the exact date has not yet been announced. Eid al-Adha is also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, Eid-e-Ghorban, Kurban Bayramı or Hari Raya, among other names. Closures vary from country to country; in most countries that celebrate the holiday, government offices will be closed for at least two days.

Analysis & Comments: Government services tend to slow down, especially in Saudi Arabia, throughout the Hajj season when millions of pilgrims arrive there and many government officials undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca themselves. Embassies and consulates around the world will also mark the holiday, though schedules will vary. Overseas applicants should contact their relevant embassy or consulate for specific holiday schedules. Those in need of immigration services should submit applications as soon as possible in order to minimize delays. 

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