With winter holidays fast approaching and the start of a New Year, employers and employees requiring international travel must ensure that they are up to date on all potential government-related causes for travel delays.
Many government offices temporarily close or reduce staff and operating hours during the holiday season. These changes have the potential to create processing delays for business visas, work permits and other immigration-oriented requests.
Below are some of the top government and consular closures to keep in mind this season:
Government offices in Argentina are anticipated to close beginning on 24 December 2022 and ending on 31 December 2022. While regular visa processing generally takes around 10 to 45 working days, travelers should anticipate potential delays due to these closures.
The government of Australia will close department offices from 26 December 2022 to 2 January 2023. Many embassy and consulates-general offices will close during these dates as well. For additional information on Australian diplomatic mission closures, check here.
Government offices in Brazil are expected to close on 24 December 2022 and reopen on 31 December 2022. For additional insight into individual consular closures throughout the holiday season, check here.
Canada’s government offices will close on 25 December 2022 through 27 December 2022. Many Canadian consulate offices, including the Consulate General office in New York, will be closed on 26 December 2022 and on 27 December 2022. For additional insight into office closures in Canadian missions across the globe, check here.
Fewer border staff and immigration officials are expected to be posted at points of entry into Canada during this time. Generally, travelers, including those holding work permits, should expect delays regarding document checks.
Government offices in China are anticipated to close from 31 December 2022 until 2 January 2023.
The Danish Immigration Service is expected to reduce operating hours from 24 December 2022 until 3 January 2022. Immigration appointments with the immigration service offices will not be available from 24 December 2022 until 3 January 2023. Processing delays should be expected. For additional insight into individual Danish embassy and consulate closures abroad, check here.
French government offices are expected to close on 26 December 2022. During this time, staff and immigration officials stationed at French diplomatic missions are expected to be limited. Travelers should anticipate document processing delays during this time.
The government offices in Germany may be closed on 25 December 2022, 26 December 2022, and 31 December 2022. Many consulate and embassy offices will close on 25 December 2022, 26 December 2022 and 31 December 2022. For additional information on an individual consulate or embassy office, check here.
Government offices in Italy are expected to close on 25 December 2022, 26 December 2022 and 1 January 2023. For additional information on an individual consulate or embassy office, check here.
The government of the Netherlands will continue to operate during the holiday season. However, individual consulate and embassy offices abroad may close on 26 December 2022. Travelers should anticipate processing delays and reduced staff throughout this time.
Spanish missions abroad are expected to close on 6 December 2022, 26 December 2022 and 31 December 2022.
Most government offices in Sweden are expected to close between 23 December 2022 and 4 January 2023. Limited staff is expected to be available throughout this time.
Many Swedish missions abroad will be closed from 24 December 2022 to 27 December 2022 and from 31 December to 3 January 2023.
Swedish citizens in need of emergency assistance while the embassy is closed should contact the Ministry for Foreign Affairs out-of-hours service in Stockholm via the embassy's telephone number.
Consulate and embassy offices for Switzerland will be closed on 26 December 2022 and 27 December 2022. Delays in visa and immigration document processing are expected.
The United Kingdom
The government of the United Kingdom will close offices in England and Wales on 26 December 2022 and 27 December 2022.
According to the government, certain visit visa processing times are averaging around five weeks. However, some applications have recently taken longer. This longer processing period may have a higher likelihood of occurrence due to the upcoming holiday closures.
The authorities of Taiwan are expected to close offices from 31 December 2022 through 2 January 2023. Individual consulate or embassy offices across the globe may close on 26 December 2022 and from 31 December 2022 to 2 January 2023.
The government of the Philippines has prohibited officers assigned to international consular and embassy posts to go on leave during the Christmas season.
According to the announcement, these measures were implemented to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of services to international travelers who are expected to enter and exit the country in large numbers before, during and after the Christmas break.
The government of Vietnam is expected to experience closures around the upcoming lunar New Year holiday. The holiday will extend from 20 January 2023 until 26 January 2023.
Whether you are traveling for business or vacation, there are important requirements to consider before you leave. Although COVID-19 restrictions are not as stringent in many places this year, many countries still maintain travel policies and entrance requirements. Envoy continues to track these entry measures and more through our Global Resource Center.
While this information is a general overview of anticipated government office closures, do not hesitate to contact Envoy for personal assistance and more details.
Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.