GLOBAL: Expect Processing Delays During Ramadan

June 2, 2016

From early next week followers of the Islamic faith will be observing Ramadan. Ramadan has high significance in the Islamic calendar and lasts for a period of 30 days. The Islamic calendar is lunar which means that the dates of Ramadan each year are changeable. Muslims are expected to fast during Ramadan which involves not eating or drinking during the daylight hours, from dawn to sunset. As this is a religious time period in Islamic countries, the working hours will be different.

Processing delays should therefore be expected  over the next few weeks throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and some parts of Asia. Ramadan is expected to start on the 6th June and end on the 5th July with Eid celebrations starting on or around 6th July which is for 3 days. Exact dates for the first day of Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr are always confirmed nearer to the time as this is based upon moon sighting but provisional dates are shared as a guide.

In countries that observe Ramadan, all companies and government offices work shorter hours, generally between 10am and 2pm. Communication during this period will be delayed, due to the very short working days. 

It is important to consider that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be affected the most out of all the Arabic countries. This will be due to the fact that during Ramadan, around 3 million people will visiting Jeddah for pilgrimage, making the city very congested and difficult to move around.

Government offices around the world will also be closed on specific days and will have reduced hours of opening. Please note that there have been no official announcements from many of the countries in question, although we have outlined possible closures in countries that may affect you below:

Most government and consular posts will have reduced working hours throughout the month of Ramadan, there will also be closures due to staff shortages during Eid-al-Fitr on or around 7th July so you should expect delays during this period.

Public offices are not officially closing during Ramadan however most government offices will open between the hours of 10am and 3.30pm, we also expect offices to be closed on the day of Eid-al Fitr which will be celebrated on or around 7th July.

Middle East/ North Africa
Offices are expected to be open from 9am-2pm, processing delays may continue into the weeks after Ramadan due to the backlogs.

Ramadan will begin on 6th June, government offices which will include the Immigration Department will run at reduced hours with offices closed on 6th and 7th July. Processing delays will likely occur throughout Ramadan and in the weeks that follow.

Government offices which will include the immigration departments will closed on the 4th-7th July and will possibly be closed on 8th too. Delays should be expected due to staff shortages during this period.

If you are awaiting responses from any of the regions above it is important you prepare for delays and give yourself sufficient time for documentation to be approved.

If you have any further questions regarding these closure please contact [email protected]