November 26, 2012

The period of time between late November and January mark when many countries observe both religious and government holiday schedules. Holiday schedules may affect the processing of work and residence permit applications due to closure of a host country’s immigration/ labor ministries and consular posts or possible delays due to reduced government staff.

Possible Processing Delays in December and Early January

In the United States, this year’s Thanksgiving holiday was officially observed Thursday, November 22, with most private offices closed November 22-23, with some closing for the entire week.

In many countries, the majority of extended holiday closures will occur in the latter half of December through the first week of January 2013. Countries in the European and Latin American regions observe particularly lengthy holidays (e.g., between 5-10 business days) given extended Christmas observances.


Companies considering assignments commencing between now and the first of next year should consult with their Global immigration service providers to determine any anticipated closures and processing delays for specific destination countries.

Companies with employees having assignment start dates in early January 2013 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.

Companies should also bear in mind to file timely applications to renew existing assignee’s work permits and accompanying family’s residence permits so as to not create an unintended lapse in status due to host country government closures or possible processing delays.

Assignees and family members should also be advised to kindly 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 Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management.