December 17, 2015

As we approach the end of the year, many countries observe both religious and government holiday schedules during the months of December and January. In most countries, these holidays usually lead to both office closures as well as reduced hours of operation and/or number of staff. In turn, the processing of work, residence, and visa applications may be delayed during the holiday season.

Possible Processing Delays in December and Early January

Globally, the majority of extended holiday closures will occur in the latter half of December through the first week of January 2016. Countries in the European and Latin American regions observe particularly lengthy holidays (between 5-10 business days) given extended Christmas observances.

How These Changes Affect You

Companies considering assignments that will commence between now and the first of next year should consult with their Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialists to determine any anticipated closures and processing delays for specific destination countries.

In addition, companies with employees whose assignment start date begins in early January 2016 should strive to file work permit applications as soon as possible with the appropriate host country government agencies. Depending on the host country’s holiday schedule, work and residence permit applications not approved by mid-December may be delayed by at least one to two weeks.

Employers should also bear in mind the holiday closures may affect renewal applications and should plan accordingly. It is strongly encouraged to file timely applications to renew existing assignee’s work permits as well as accompanying family member’s residence permits to avoid an unintended lapse in status.

Assignees and family members should also be advised to observe flexibility and patience with ministry or consular authorities due to closings or reduced staffing between now and early January. 

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Pro-Link GLOBAL’s Knowledge Management team.

Information contained in this Blog is prepared using information obtained from various media outlets, government publications and our KGNM network of immigration professionals. Written permission from the copyright owner and any other rights holders must be obtained for any reuse of any content posted or published by Pro-Link GLOBAL that extends beyond fair use or other statutory exemptions. Furthermore, responsibility for the determination of the copyright status and securing permission rests with those persons wishing to reuse the materials. Interested parties are welcome to contact the Knowledge Management Department ( with any additional request for information or to request reproduction of this material.