• Government Closures and Immigration Processing Delays Expected During Ramadan
  • July 24, 2012
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Foreign nationals and their employers can expect immigration processing delays over the coming weeks in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and parts of Asia during observance of Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr. Many government offices worldwide reduce their hours during Ramadan and close for Eid-al-Fitr.

    In most of the world, Ramadan is expected to begin on July 20 (depending on lunar sightings) and end on August 18. Eid-al-Fitr is expected to be observed between August 18 and 22, though the exact dates will vary by country. Processing delays could continue in the weeks following Ramadan, due to application backlogs that accumulate during this period.

    Below is a non-exhaustive list of reduced business hours and office closures for Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr.

    Algeria: There have been no official announcements of office closures, but processing delays are expected for initial and renewal applications. Employers and their foreign workers should file renewal applications earlier than usual to minimize the possibility of gaps in status.

    Bahrain: Immigration offices will be open from 8am to 12:30pm (AST) during Ramadan. Office closures are expected in observance of Eid-al-Fitr, though there has been no official announcement.

    Egypt: Immigration offices will be open from 9am to 1pm (EET) during Ramadan. Office closures are expected in observance of Eid-al-Fitr, though there has been no official announcement.

    Indonesia: Government offices in Indonesia and consular posts abroad are expected to shorten their work days by one to two hours through August 16. Government offices are expected to be closed from August 17 (which is also Indonesian National Day) through August 27, though there has been no official announcement.

    Malaysia: Most offices of Malaysia’s Immigration Department will close an hour early during Ramadan. Multimedia Development Corporation offices, which process work pass applications for information and communication technology companies, will also close early through August 16 and most will close entirely from August 17 to 21. Processing delays are expected to continue for up to two weeks after offices reopen.

    Pakistan: Government offices will be open from 9am to 1pm (PKT) during Ramadan. Office closures are expected in observance of Eid-al-Fitr, though there has been no official announcement.

    Qatar: Immigration offices will be open from 8am to 1pm (AST) during Ramadan. Office closures are expected for at least a week before Eid-al-Fitr, though there has been no official announcement.

    Saudi Arabia: Immigration offices will be open from 9am to 1pm (AST) during Ramadan. Office closures are expected in observance of Eid-al-Fitr, though there has been no official announcement.

    Turkey: There have been no official announcements of office closures, but processing delays are expected due to vacation staffing shortages during the last week of Ramadan.

    United Arab Emirates: In Dubai, government offices will close at 5pm (AST). In Abu Dhabi, government offices will close at 6pm (AST). Official offices of the Dubai International Financial Center Authority (DIFC) will close at 2pm (AST). The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) will close at 2:30pm (AST) for the first three weeks of Ramadan, and at 1:45pm (AST) for the week prior to Eid-al-Fitr. Official offices in the Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media (TECOM) free zone will close at 3pm (AST). Office closures are expected in observance of Eid-al-Fitr, though there has been no official announcement.