• Immigration Processing Delays Expected During Ramadan
  • May 15, 2018
  • The situation

    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, followed by the Eid-al-Fitr holiday. Many government offices, embassies and consulates worldwide reduce their hours and/or close during Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr.
    This year, the month of Ramadan is expected to last from May 16 or 17 until June 14 or 15, 2018; however, the exact dates depend on a lunar sighting and are expected to be announced for each country separately. Processing delays could continue in the weeks following Ramadan, due to application backlogs that accumulate during the closures.
    A closer look
    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: The month of Ramadan is expected to begin May 16 or 17 and end June 13 or 14, depending on lunar sightings. While public offices are not officially closed during Ramadan, most government offices will open at 10:00 a.m. and close at 3:30 p.m. 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.
    • Bangladesh: The month of Ramadan will begin on May 15. While government offices will operate with reduced workforce during this month and until June 17, they will be closed from June 15 to 17 in observance of Eid-ul-Fitr. Processing delays of pending applications should be expected throughout the month of Ramadan.
    • • Brunei: The Ramadan season will begin on May 16 in Brunei. Government offices, including the Immigration Department, Labour Department and Energy Industry Department (EID) are expected to operate with reduced hours throughout the month of Ramadan. Government offices will be closed for Hari Raya Aidilfitri on June 15 to June 18, depending on lunar sighting. Processing delays are expected throughout Ramadan and may continue for up to two weeks after Ramadan ends.
    • Indonesia: The month of Ramadan is expected to begin on May 17 ending with Hari Raya Idul Fitri, which will fall on June 15. Most government offices and consular posts are expected to reduce their business days by one to two hours throughout the month of Ramadan, and closures will likely occur several days before and after the Idul Fitri holiday (around June 11 to 22) due to staffing shortages. Processing delays are expected to occur during this period.
    • Malaysia: The month of Ramadan will begin on May 17. Government offices, including the Immigration Department and other Work Pass adjudicating departments such as the eXpats Centre of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn. Bhd. and MYXpats Centre of the Expatriate Services Division, are expected to operate with reduced hours throughout the month of Ramadan. Government offices will be closed for Hari Raya Aidifitri from June 15 to 17. In addition to those days, eXpats Centre will also be closed on June 14. Processing delays are expected throughout the month of Ramadan and may continue for up to three weeks after the end of Ramadan.
    • Middle East/North Africa (Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates): The month of Ramadan is expected to start May 16 or 17 and last until June 14 or 15, 2018. Government offices across the Middle East will be working reduced hours during Ramadan, which may affect processing times for all immigration applications. 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 Eid-al-Fitr holiday and application backlogs that accumulate during the closures.
    • Turkey: Government offices will be closed June 14 (afternoon), June 15 (full day), and potentially June 18. Processing delays can be expected for initial and renewal applications due to government office closures.