At a Glance

Travelers to East and Southeast Asia should expect delays and interruptions in government and business operations due to the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 16 this year. Travelers to the area should make advance arrangements, and visa and permit applicants should submit applications as early as possible.

The situation

Millions of people are expected to travel throughout East and Southeast Asia during the Lunar New Year holiday season. Travel-related delays and government and business interruptions will peak February 15 to February 17 and could last longer in Macau, Taiwan, Vietnam and China where the holiday will be celebrated through February 21.

To meet travel demand, some airlines have increased flight options, while railways have added additional trains. However, possible poor weather may exacerbate delays.

A closer look

Government offices for the following countries will be closed on the following dates:

  • Brunei: February 17;
  • China: February 15-21;
  • Hong Kong: February 16-19;
  • India: Diplomatic missions in the region will generally be open except for those in China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam which will be closed on February 16;
  • Indonesia: February 16;
  • Macau: February 15 (starting 1 p.m.) to February 20;
  • Malaysia: February 16-17;
  • Philippines: February 16;
  • Singapore: February 16-17;
  • South Korea: February 15-16;
  • Taiwan: February 15-16 and February 19-20;
  • Vietnam: February 13 (starting 12 p.m.) to February 20.

Impact on foreign nationals

Due to government and business closures during the Lunar New Year, travelers should make their travel plans in advance and should expect travel delays and interruptions.

Visa and permit applicants should submit applications as early as possible and should contact their processing office to determine exact closure dates and the effect on individual applications. Applications submitted nearer to closure dates may not be accepted or acted upon until government offices reopen.