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May Day Holiday Closures 1 May 13

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Embassy Consulate Closure, traveler advise.
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May Day has long been a traditional holiday in Europe, but the current May Day holiday, International Workers’ Day, has its roots in the not-so-distant past. The Second International, an organization of socialist and worker parties from around the world, met in Paris in 1889 and declared May 1st International Workers’ Day. The holiday commemorates the workers’ fight for an eight hour work day and the memory of the “martyrs” of the 1886 Haymarket Square massacre in Chicago, in which dozens of unarmed people were killed at the hands of the Chicago Police during a labor demonstration. This event in Chicago galvanized worker parties around the world and reinforced the concept of an international struggle shared by all workers.

Today International Workers’ Day is one of the largest secular holidays celebrated around the world. This holiday is officially observed by dozens of countries, including China, Russia and the former Soviet nations, the majority of European Union nations such as France and Germany, India, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Brazil and Venezuela, and is unofficially observed on every populated continent.

The second week of May holds another major international holiday, Victory Day. Victory Day is a holiday that celebrates the victory over fascist Germany by the Allied forces in 1945. The day marks the unconditional surrender of the German Third Reich to the Allies on May 8, but because Moscow is so far East it was already May 9. The holiday is celebrated by Europeans from London to Moscow. France and the United Kingdom celebrate the holiday on May 8, while Belgium and the Netherlands observe Victory Day on May 5. For Russia and the former Soviet nations of Armenia, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, the May 9 Victory Day is a particularly important holiday, as the Soviet Union endured enormous losses during World War II. The Soviet Red Army incurred over 8 million deaths, and the nation as a whole had over 13 million civilian deaths. The effects of the conflict are evident even today; statistics show that every family in the Soviet Union lost a member in the conflict. Victory Day is celebrated with commencements at cemeteries, military parades, and is a unifying holiday for all citizens of the former Soviet Union. All of their consulates will be closed on Monday, May 9 in honor of the holiday.

Embassy Closures : week of 11 February – 15 February 11 February 13

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Embassy Closure

This week starts a New Year for many in Asia. Lunar New Year is observed this week and many embassies and consulates will closed, some for an extended period. Starting on Monday the 11th of February China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam will all be closed. The Chinese embassy and most of it’s consulates around the country will be closed until Thursday February 14th. Vietnam will stay closed until Friday, the 15th of February. An addition to the New Year, there are closures at the embassies of Cameroon and Myanmar this week. Afghanistan will be closed on Friday to observe their Day of Liberation.

11 February, Monday: 

Lunar New YearChina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam 

Youth Day – Cameroon   

12 February, Tuesday:

Lunar New Year – China and Vietnam 

Union Day – Myanmar

13 February, Wednesday:  

Lunar New Year – China (Chinese consulate in San Francisco is open) and Vietnam

14 February, Thursday:  

Lunar New Year – Vietnam (Embassy in DC is open)

 

15 February, Friday:

Liberation Day – Afghanistan 

As is always the case for holiday closures, the closure means no new visa  will be submitted or completed jobs picked up. A holiday does not count towards the total processing time associated with completing a request.  Because of the two holidays travelers are advised to take into account any extra time their requests my require when determining to how quickly to process their visa request

 

Chinese New Year : Important closures next week 8 February 13

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Happy Year of the Snake

 

Happy Year of the Snake !The week of February 11 – 15 will see extended closures at numerous embassies and consulates. The Chinese Lunar New Year starts on Sunday, February 10. The holiday, which is not uniquely Chinese, is observed by many countries in Asia. The embassies of China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam will all be closed. China and Vietnam will be taking an extended holiday while the others will only be closed on Monday the 10th. Those countries will not  reopen until Thursday, February 14. The exception is the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, which will reopen on Wednesday, February 13. If you are in a travel crunch and need a Chinese visa asap, contact the G3 San Francisco office.

As is always the case for holiday closures, the closure means no new visa  will be submitted or completed jobs picked up. A holiday does not count towards the total processing time associated with completing a request.  Because of the two holidays travelers are advised to take into account any extra time their requests my require when determining to how quickly to process their visa request

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Embassy Closures for the week of 4 February – 9 February 4 February 13

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This week’s embassy and consulate list  sees closures at Burundi, Lebanon, Mozambique and Sri Lanka.

February 4, Monday:

Mozambique closed for Heroes’ Day (holiday was Sunday)

Sri Lanka closed for National Day

February 5,Tuesday:  

Burundi closed for Unity Day

February 8, Friday:  

Lebanon closed for Saint Maroun’s Day (holiday is Saturday)

Although this is a relatively light week for closures, next week will have extended closures for Chinese New Year. China will be closed Monday through Wednesday (SF Consulate reopens before the others, on Wednesday) and Vietnam will be closed Monday through Thursday. Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia will also be closed on Monday.

As always, when an embassy or consulate is closed, there are no visa  applications accepted and no new visas are issued on that day. Also, visas already in process at a closed consulate have to count additional time when calculating the time required to have a visa issued as a holiday does not count as a visa processing day.

Closures to make short week starting on January 21 18 January 13

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Embassy Consulate Closure, Passport.
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MLK Holiday DC

There is a short week for visa and passport processing coming up. Starting on Monday the 21st, the combined Martin Luther King Jr. Federal holiday and the Presidential Inauguration will see closures at most Embassies and consulates. Monday will also close  Federal Offices such as all Passport Offices and the Department of State Office of Authentications. Additionally, do to the scale of the Inaugural event and it’s impact on the City, G3’s Washington (Arlington, VA) office will be close operations at noon on the 21st. The other G3 offices in New York, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco are not effected and will be open during normal business hours  Monday.

Thursday the 24th of January sees an important holiday in the Islamic Calendar.  Mawlid al-Nabi or Ma’uled Al-Nabi, which is a celebration of the Prophet Mohamed’s birthday, takes place. The holiday will cause closures at embassies and consulates from Islamic countries around the country who our commemorating the day. Although not a complete list as consular offices  don’t always announce their intention to close,

The Embassies and consulates representing  AfghanistanCameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, IndonesiaJordan and Mali have all announced closures on the 24th. Be advised that this list is not definitive as consular offices don’t always announce their intention to close. Other Islamic consular offices can be expected to be closed. We will up date the known closure list for the holiday as soon as we know.

As is always the case for holiday closures, the closure means no new visa or passport applications can be submitted or completed jobs picked up. A holiday does not count towards the total processing time associated with completing a request.  Because of the two holidays travelers are advised to take into account any extra time their requests my require when determining to how quickly to process a passport or visa.

Russian Embassy Winter Holiday Schedule 28 November 12

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Embassy Consulate Closure, traveler advise, Visa News.
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Russian Embassy  Holiday Schedule 2013

 

It is time to start planning your visa to Russia if you want to leave with in the next two months.The New Year’s holiday, Orthodox Christmas and the Old New Year Celebration see a seasonal shutdown of the Russian government.The first few weeks in January has official business in Russia come to virtual stand still. This means every thing pertaining to the processing of visas stops for nearly ten days.

Since these holidays fall on different days of the week every year, the way the Russian government takes the holiday is dynamic from year to year. Forecasting the exact dates of the closures becomes an annual event that heralds the coming of the holiday season in Russia. Experience tells that the holiday can be suddenly extended with a situations like  the Foreign Ministry closed and the embassy open and the embassy closing  and the Foreign Ministry open on certain days. Careful planning by a visa expert is essential for travelers to Russia with departure dates in January and February.

Russian Visa Closure Dates:

Although not an official holiday in Russia, there will be no Russian visas processed on Western Christmas, the 25th of December.

New Year’s 2013 is on a Tuesday. The Embassy and the Russian Foreign Ministry will be closed from Monday the 31st of December through the 8th of January. Visa and invitation processing will resume on Wednesday, the 9th of January, 2013.

Old New Years is Monday the 14th January. It is undetermined at this point whether or not the Foreign Ministry or the Embassy will take the holiday. This is usually announced in the week after Orthodox Christmas if there will be a closure.

Vladimir Putin has in the past, extended the holiday by proclamation. It is unclear at this point if this will happen again this year.  These proclamations can sometimes have the Foreign Ministry in Russia  closed, effecting business invitation approvals, but the Russian Consular offices in the US are open. G3 will communicate any additional Holiday closures as soon as they are officially announced or we anticipate it.

Effect on Russian Business Invitations and Visas:

Because of the two step nature of the Russian visa process, Russian business visas travelers have to be especially conscious of their processing schedule and departure. dates during this time. Since,the first part of the visa process is the invitation, the time required by the Russian Foreign Ministry to approve any new invitation will increase. The second part being  the time the embassy takes to make the visa, once they have the approved invitation or telex authorization back from Moscow.

The January holiday schedule can cause huge delays for travelers trying to get to Russia. Travelers are advised to take this holiday schedule into account when figuring out their processing times and make adjustments if necessary  Nobody wants a passport locked in the consulate while it’s closed for ten days.

Not Enough Time? Consider Going as a Tourist :

Travelers to Russia should note that G3 can obtain tourist vouchers even when the government in Russia is closed. This visa support is different from the  business invitation support in that these vouchers, as they are known, don’t require governmental approval and can be issued in as quickly as 24 hours in some cases. If time is essential, a tourist visa could be the solution for some business travelers who do not have enough time to get an approved business invitation before the closure or wait for the government to reopen.

Expert Advise :

It is our experience that the Russian Winter Holiday closures creates inconveniences for many travelers each year. In many cases visas that would not ordinarily have to be rushed have to be expedited to accommodate the Russian schedule. This time of year sees many multiple entry, one year invitation requests, that take 21 business days to be approved,  changed to expedited single or double entry requests in order to meet a departure date.

G3 maintains an expert staff that is able to figure out the best solutions and advise on your trip to Russia. Russian visa questions can be addressed to the G3 Russian Country Information Codinator, Issaia Aponte, at the New York Office or to the Russia team email.

Embassy Closures Week of 26 November – 30 November 2012 26 November 12

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This week has no US Federal Holidays and most embassies are open with normal hours this week. There are no major Embassy closures this week at Brazil, India, China or Russia. The list of embassy and consulate closures is below.

26 November, Monday

Sao Tome & Principe closed for Argel Accord Day
Suriname closed for Independence Day

28 November, Wednesday,

Chad closed for Proclamation of the Republic of Chad
Laos closed for That Luang Festival
Mauritania closed for Independence Day
Myanmar closed for Festival of Lights (Thadingyut)

30 November, Friday

Benin closed for National Day

 

Remember when consular office are closed there are no visa processed or new applications accepted on that day. When an embassy or consulate is closed, that day does count as a processing day and applications currently in for process will have the visa processing extended to include the non processing closure day. Please account for extra time if you are applying for a visa to a country whose office closed because of holiday.

If you have any questions on how long your visa request will take for a particular country please feel free to contact our professional staff for more information.

Embassy Closures Week of 12 November 2012 13 November 12

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A Federal holiday on Monday will see most embassies honoring US Veterans Day which is also Armistice Day for those in Western Europe. The State Department’s Passport Offices are all closed Monday as well. The Hindu Festival of Diwali will  see closures at the Indian Embassy and it’s  Consulates General but their outsourcing operations are still open. This week also has Islamic New Year which will cause delays and closures at various consulates and embassies.

The full list of weekly closures by day

12  November, Monday   Veteran’s Day/ Armistice Day
US Passport Offices
Brazil
Cambodia
Vietnam
China (DC, NY, SF only)
India
Laos
Russia(outsourcing closed, consulates open)
Angola closed for Independence Day
Azerbaijan closed for Constitution Day, (outsourcing open)

13 November, Tuesday
India closed for Diwali (outsourcing open)

14 November, Wednesday
Nepal closed for Sambat New Year

15 November, Thursday   Islamic New Year –
Algeria
Bahrain
Djibouti
Egypt
Indonesia
Iraq
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Libya
Malaysia
Morocco
Oman
Syria
UAE
Yemen
(expect other consulates to close that have not reported their holiday schedule)
Belgium closed for Dynasty Day
Cote d’Ivoire closed for National Peace Day

Remember when consular office are closed there are no visa processed
or new applications accepted on that day. When an embassy or
consulate is closed, that day does count as a processing day and
applications currently in for process will have the visa processing
extended to include the non processing closure day. Please account
for extra time if you are applying for a visa to a country whose office closed because of holiday.
If you have any questions on how long your visa request will take
for a particular country please feel free to contact our
professional staff for more information.

Embassy Closure List week of 22 October 2012 22 October 12

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Embassy closures  has the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha causing closures at the end of the week. Applicants can expect to have visa processing delays due to  embassy closures at consulates and embassies representing Muslim countries.  This week’s other notable closures include Kazakhstan’s national day, independence days for Zambia and Turkmenistan and Thailand closing for Chulalongkorn. India has a closure for Dusshera but the processing center is open for new submissions, applications in process and will take an extra day to process visas as the Indian embassy and all their consulates are closed.

23 October, Tuesday
Thailand closed for Chulalongkorn Memorial Day/King Rama V Day

24 October, Wednesday
India closed for Dusshera; Travisa open for submissions
Zambia closed for Independence Day

October 25, Thursday Eid al-Adha begins this evening; closures will include:
Bangladesh
Saudi Arabia (embassy and all consulates)
Kazakhstan closed for Republic Day

October 26, Friday  Eid al-Adha – closures will include:
Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Ethiopia
Ghana
Indonesia
Malaysia
Saudi Arabia (embassy and all consulates)
Benin closed for Armed Forces Day
Cambodia closed for Coronation Day
Turkmenistan closed for Independence Day
Uganda

Remember when consular office are closed there are no visa processed
or new applications accepted on that day. When an embassy or
consulate is closed, that day does count as a processing day and
applications currently in for process will have the visa processing
extended to include the non processing closure day. Please account
for extra time if you are applying for a visa to a country whose office closed because of holiday.
If you have any questions on how long your visa request will take
for a particular country please feel free to contact our
professional staff for more information.

Embassy Closure List week of Oct 8 8 October 12

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This week Columbus Day is observed. This is an official Federal Holiday, closing banks and Federal institutions such as the State Department’s Passport Office and the Office of Authentications. As with  most US Federal Holidays the Russian Embassy is open and this counts as a processing day for applications already in process. However, their ILS acceptance facilities are closed, so new Russian applications will be submitted today. Also the Chinese Embassy is closed but it’s consulates in LA and San Francisco are open for processing and accepting new visa applications today.

8  October, Monday: Columbus Day – US Passport Offices closed, many embassies and consulates closed including:

Algeria
Bangladesh
Brazil
Cambodia
China – All consulates except LA and SF.
Egypt
India – only the Travisa office in SF, all others are open.
Laos
Malaysia
Nigeria
Myanmar
Kazakhstan
Philippines
Russia – ILS offices closed, but consulates open
Thailand
Saudi Arabia
Turkey
Vietnam
Venezuela closed for Day of Indigenous Resistance


9 October, Tuesday
Uganda closed for Independence Day

10 October, Wednesday
Kenya closed for Moi Day
Taiwan closed for National Day (Double Tenth)

12 October, Friday,  
Equatorial Guinea closed for Independence Day
Laos closed for Day of Liberation

Remember when consular office are closed there are no visa processed
or new applications accepted on that day. When an embassy or
consulate is closed, that day does count as a processing day and
applications currently in for process will have the visa processing
extended to include the non processing closure day. Please account
for extra time if you are applying for a visa to a country whose office closed because of holiday.
If you have any questions on how long your visa request will take
for a particular country please feel free to contact our
professional staff
 for more information.