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Holidays and Offices Closure 


21 December 2018

GLOBAL: Slow immigration and custom clearance processing during holidays 

During the Christmas and New Year’s holidays many government offices will close or have reduced working hours which will slow down immigration and custom clearance processing worldwide. 

The following is a summary of closures by region.

Africa: Christmas and New Year’s coincide with the traditional summer holiday in most of Africa.

  •  Immigration authorities in many African countries, notably Gabon will be closed 25 December 2018 and 1 January 2019. 
  •  In Ghana and Nigeria authorities will be closed 25-26 December and 1 January 2018. 
  •  South Africa’s Visa Facilitation Center (VFS), in general, will be closed from 24 December 2018 to January 2019. But on 21, 27 and 28 December 2018 it will be open only for the collection of outcomes.

Americas: Most government immigration offices are expected to be closed on 25 December and 1 January. 

  • Brazil - Government offices are expected to be closed on 24, 25 and 31 December 2018 and 1 January 2019. 
  • In Costa Rica the immigration authority will be closed from 21 December 2018 to 7 January 2019. 
  • Canada - Government offices will be closed 25-26 December 2018 and 1 January 2019.
  • Mexico - The Mexican National Immigration Institute in Mexico City and in other Mexican cities will be closed from 19 December 2018 to 4 January 2019. 
  • The United States only observes 25 December and 1 January as official holidays. However, in some states offices may also be closed on 24 and 31 December 2018. 

Asia: Most countries will observe one or more days for Christmas and New Year’s.

  • China does not officially mark Christmas as a public holiday but governmental offices will be closed 30-31 December 2018 and 1 January for New Year’s Day.
  • Government offices in Indonesia will be closed 24-25 December 2018 and 1 January 2019. 
  • In Japan, both businesses and governmental offices will be closed on 24 December and from 28 December to 3 January. 
  • In Malaysia, immigration offices will be closed 25 December 2018 and 1 January 2019. Additionally, in East Malaysia documents won’t be accepted during the period of 24 December 2018- 2 January 2019. 

Europe: Government offices in most countries in Europe will be closed 25-26 December and 1 January 2019. Authorities will be working with a reduced staff during the end year-  season. 

  • In Denmark the immigration authorities will be closed on  24, 25, 26 and 31 December and 1 January 2019. 
  • In France Government offices will be closed on 25 December 2018 and 1 January 2019.
  • Poland - government offices will be closed 25-26 December 2018 and 1 January 2019. Offices are also expected to close early, or to close fully at late notice, on 24, 27, 28 and 31 December 2018.

Middle East: Christmas and New Year’s are not observed as public holidays, but some private offices may close.

  • In Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, the immigration authority will be closed 1 January 2019.

Oceania: 

  • In Australia, the immigration authority will be closed 25-26 December 2018 and 1 January 2019.

How Does This Affect the Client?

Processing times will be longer and a backlog of cases may develop immediately following the New Year when offices reopen.

 

 

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