Global: Immigration processing during the holiday season

During the holiday season, many government offices worldwide will close or have reduced staff and hours of operation, likely resulting in processing delays for work permits, residence permits and visas over the coming weeks and into the new year.The following is a non-exhaustive list of immigration office and government closings during the holiday season. Employers and foreign nationals with travel or relocation plans between now and early 2016 should contact their immigration service provider to discuss the impact of holiday closures on their specific circumstances.

Algeria

The immigration authority will be closed December 23 and 24, 2015 and January 1, 2016.

Austria

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2015 and January 1 and 6, 2016.  On December 24 and 31, 2015, the immigration authority will close at noon.

Azerbaijan

The immigration authority will be closed December 31, 2015. For additional closures, contact the immigration office.

Belarus

Immigration authorities will be closed December 25, 2015 and January 1, 7 and 8, 2016. Due to a reduced workforce, delays should be expected during December into early January.

Belgium

The federal administration office will be closed from December 24, 2015 through January 1, 2016.

Bolivia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2015 and January 1, 2016. Foreign nationals should check the authority for the operating hours for December 24 and 31, 2015.

Brazil

Government offices will be closed December 24, 25 and 31, 2015 and January 1, 2016.

Costa Rica

The Immigration Office in Costa Rica will be closed from December 18, 2015 through January 4, 2016 and will not be processing visa and work permit applications during this time. Due to office closures for the holiday season, processing delays should be expected for visa and work permit applications through January. Office closings and abbreviated holiday schedules are also expected at Costa Rican consular posts worldwide.

Croatia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2015 and January 1 and 6, 2016, with shorter hours likely on December 24 and 31, 2015. Additionally, expect general delays around the holiday season due to staff shortages.

Cyprus

The immigration authority will be closed December 25 and 26, 2015 and January 1 and 6, 2016. Although December 24 and 31 are not considered public holidays, many public offices will also be closed.

Czech Republic

The immigration authorities will be closed December 21, 2015 through January 1, 2016. 

Denmark

The immigration authorities will be closed December 24, 2015 through January 3, 2016. 

Ecuador

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2015 and January 1, 2016.

Estonia

The immigration authorities will be closed December 24 through 26, 2015 and January 1, 2016. On December 23 and 31, 2015, the offices will close at 2pm.

Finland

The immigration authority will be closed December 24 and 25, 2015, and January 1 and 6, 2016, and may operate for half a day on December 23 and 31, 2015.  Holiday staff shortages should be expected from December 21, 2015 through January 7, 2016.

France

Immigration offices will be closed December 25 and 31, 2015 and January 1, 2016. 

Greece

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2015 and January 1 and 6, 2016 and will be open for a half day on December 24 and 31, 2015.

Hong Kong

The immigration authority will be closed December 25 and 26, 2015 and January 1, 2016.

Hungary

The immigration authority will be closed December 23, 2015 through January 1, 2016.                                                                    

Israel

Israeli consulates abroad may close or partially close between December 24, 2015 and January 1, 2016. Applicants and employers should contact the consulate at which they will apply for more information.

Italy

Immigration authorities will be closed December 25, 2015 and January 1 and 6, 2016.  Due to a reduced workforce, delays should be expected during December into early January.

Kazakhstan

Public offices will be closed December 16 and 17, 2015 and January 1, 4 and 7, 2016.

Latvia

The immigration authorities will be closed December 24, 25 and 31, 2015, and January 1, 2016.  On December 23 and 30, government offices will close one hour early.

Lithuania

The immigration authorities will be closed December 24 and 25, 2015 and January 1, 2016.

Macau

The immigration authority will be closed December 21, 22, 25 and 26, 2015 and January 1, 2016.

Malta

The immigration authority will be closed December 24 through 26 and 31, 2015.  Due to a reduced workforce, delays should be expected during December into early January.

Mexico

The immigration authority will close December 18, 2015 at 1 pm and will reopen January 6, 2016 at 9 am.  

Moldova

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2015 and January 1, 7 and 8, 2016. 

New Zealand

The immigration authority will be closed December 24, 2015 and will reopen January 4, 2016. 

Norway

The immigration authority will be closed December 24, 2015 and will reopen January 4, 2016. 

Peru

Government offices will be closed December 24 through 26, 31, 2015, and January 1, 2016.  Additional closures may be established by the offices at their discretion.

Poland

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2015, and January 1 and 6, 2016.  Additionally, government offices will be working with limited capacity on December 24 and 31, 2015.

Portugal

The immigration authority will be closed December 24 through 27, 2015 and December 31, 2015- January 3, 2016.

Romania

The immigration authority will be closed December 24 and 25, 2015, and January 1, 2 and 24, 2016.

Russia

The immigration authority will be closed from January 1 through January 10, 2016.

Slovakia

The immigration authority will be closed December 24 through 26, 2015 and January 1 and 6, 2016.  Due to a reduced workforce, delays should be expected during December into early January. 

Slovenia

The immigration authority will be closed December 25 through 26, 2015 and January 1, 2016.  Due to a reduced workforce, delays should be expected during December into early January.

Spain

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2015 and January 1 and 6, 2016, and will be open for half a day on December 24 and 31, 2015, and possibly January 5, 2016.

Sweden

The Swedish Migration Board will be closed December 24, 25, and 31, 2015, and January 1 and 6, 2016. The hours on January 5, 2015 will be 9am – 1 pm. 

Taiwan

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 2016.

Turkey

The immigration authority will close early on December 31, 2015 and will be closed January 1, 2016. 

Ukraine

The immigration authority will be closed January 1, 7 and 8, 2016.

United Kingdom

Government offices will be closed December 25 and 28, 2015 and January 1, 2016.  Offices in Scotland will also be closed January 4, 2016.  Delays in government processing times are anticipated over this period, continuing into the early New Year, due to staff holidays.  Availability of Premium Service Centre appointments for same-day processing are anticipated to be similarly impacted.

Uzbekistan

The immigration authority will be closed December 30, 2015. Due to a reduced workforce, delays should be expected during December into early January.

Venezuela

The immigration authority will be closed December 25, 2015 and January 1, 2016.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK