December 12, 2013
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 many countries throughout the world, these holidays usually lead to 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 2014. Countries in the European and Latin American regions observe particularly lengthy holidays (between 5-10 business days) given extended Christmas observances.
ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS
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 having assignment start dates in early January 2014 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 kindly observe flexibility and patience with ministry or consular authorities due to closings or reduced staffing between now and early January.