• Government Closures and Immigration Processing Delays Expected During Ramadan
  • July 12, 2013
  • 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 10 (depending on lunar sightings) and end on August 8. Eid-al-Fitr is expected to be observed on August 8 and 9, though the exact dates will vary by country. Processing delays could continue in the weeks following Ramadan, due to application backlogs that accumulate during the closures.

    Below is a non-exhaustive list of operating hours and office closures for Ramadan. Government office closures are expected in many countries for Eid-al-Fitr, though there have not been official announcements for most countries.

    Algeria: There have been no official announcements of office closures, but processing delays are expected for initial and renewal applications due vacation staffing shortages.

    Bahrain: Immigration offices will be open from 8am to 12:30pm AST during Ramadan.

    Indonesia: Government offices in Indonesia and consular posts abroad are expected to shorten their work days by one to two hours throughout Ramadan. Government offices are expected to be closed from August 5 through August 9, though additional closures are possible before and after the holiday due to staffing shortages.

    Malaysia: Most offices of Malaysia’s Immigration Department and the Multimedia Development Corporation (which processes work pass applications for information and communication technology companies) will shorten work days through Ramadan. Processing delays are expected to continue for up to two weeks after Ramadan ends.

    Morocco: Immigration offices will be open from 9am to 3pm during Ramadan.

    Pakistan: Government offices will be open from 8:30am to 2pm PKT during Ramadan.

    Qatar: Immigration offices will be open from 8am to 12pm AST during Ramadan.

    Saudi Arabia: Immigration offices will be open from 10am to 3pm AST during Ramadan.

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

    United Arab Emirates: In Dubai, government offices will close at 5:30pm AST. Official offices of the Dubai International Financial Center Authority (DIFC) and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) will close at 2pm. Official offices in the Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media (TECOM) free zone will close at 1pm. The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) will be open from 8:15am to 1:45pm for the first three weeks of Ramadan and from 10:15am to 1:45pm for the week prior to Eid-al-Fitr. In Abu Dhabi, government offices will close at 6pm.