• Immigration Processing Delays Expected During Ramadan
  • July 1, 2016
  • 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 the observance of Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr. Many government offices worldwide reduce their hours and/or close during Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr.

    In most of the world, Ramadan is expected to begin on June 6 and end on July 5, with both dates depending on lunar sightings. Eid-al-Fitr is expected to be observed July 7, 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: While public offices are not officially closed during Ramadan, most government offices will open at 10am and close at 3:30pm. Government offices will also likely be closed on Eid-al-Fitr. Processing delays can be expected for initial and renewal applications due to the reduced working hours.

    Indonesia: The Ramadan season will start June 6 and Hari Raya Idul Fitri will fall on July 6 and 7. Most government offices and consular posts abroad are expected to reduce their work days by one to two hours throughout the month of Ramadan, and closures will likely occur several days before and after the Idul Fitri holidays due to staffing shortages. Processing delays can be expected during this season.

    Malaysia: The Ramadan season will begin on June 6 in Malaysia. Government offices, including the Immigration Department and other Malaysia work pass adjudicating departments such as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (MDEC), are expected to operate with reduced hours throughout the month of Ramadan. Government offices will be closed for Hari Raya Aidilfitri on July 6 and 7. Processing delays are expected throughout Ramadan and may continue for up to two weeks after Ramadan ends.

    Middle East/North Africa (Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates): Although the authorities are yet to announce closures for most countries, the operating hours for most government offices are expected to be from 9am to 2pm. Foreign nationals and employers are advised to check with the relevant office for exact hours of operation. Processing delays could continue in the weeks following Ramadan due to application backlogs that accumulate during the closures.

    Turkey: Government offices will be closed July 4 - 8. Processing delays can be expected for initial and renewal applications due to staffing shortages.