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Christmas & New Year Holiday dates

What are the dates over Christmas and New Year that affect service?

As you are no doubt aware, Christmas and New Year are two of the biggest public holidays in most countries calendars. However, it does unfortunately mean that there are disruptions to our usual services during this period.

Below we have listed all the important dates for postal services and also opening times for our offices and the consulates we deal with. Please review this information to ensure that you can obtain your visa or travel service in time for your requirements.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help. As usual, during the holidays our 24 hour emergency customer help line will still be available to assist you.

What are the last postal dates for Royal Mail Special Delivery?

  • The last postal date before Christmas for Royal Mail Special Delivery items to arrive guaranteed next day is 23rd December
  • The Royal Mail will continue to deliver post up to and including 24th December
  • There will be no Royal Mail deliveries on 25th and 28th December and on 1st January
  • There will be normal Royal Mail Special Delivery service from 29th December through to 31st December
  • Items posted by Royal Mail Special Delivery on 31st December may only be delivered on 5th January
  • Normal service resumes on 4th January (excluding Scotland)
  • DHL/FedEx follow UK bank holidays and will be closed on 25th, 28th December and 1st January

We will do our best to post all visas collected from the consulates on 24th and 31st December the same day however we cannot give any guarantee due to an early cut off time for post collection.

When are Consulates in the United Kingdom closed?

  December January
Azerbaijan Consulate 25th 28th 31st 1st - 8th
Belarus Consulate 25th 28th   1st & 7th
Chinese Consulate 25th 28th   1st
Kazakhstan Consulate 25th 28th   1st
Kyrgyzstan Consulate 25th 28th   1st
Mongolian Consulate 25th-30th     1st
Russian Consulate       1st - 9th
Tajikstan Consulate 25th 28th   1st
Turkmenistan Consulate       1st
Ukrainian Consulate 25th 28th   1st
Uzbekistan Consulate 25th 28th   1st-4th
Vietnamese Consulate 25th 28th   1st-4nd

On these dates it will not be possible to lodge applications or collect visas, and they will not count towards visa processing time. Please note that this information is subject to change by the consulates and other authorities.

Russian visa processing times?

The table below summarises Russian visa processing times:

Date Of Submission Next Day Service Standard Service
17/12 18/12 29/12
18/12 21/12 30/12
21/12 22/12 30/12
22/12 23/12 30/12
23/12 30/12 31/12
24/12 29/12 31/12
29/12 31/12 11/01
30/12 11/01 11/01
31/12 11/01 11/01

*Russian visa applications submitted to the consulate on a next day service on 24th and 29th December will only be collected on Thursday 31th December. If you have any questions or for further information, please contact our visa team.

What about visa support processing?

Russian: During the period of 29th December to 10th January inclusive, no business visa support applications will be accepted and these days will not count towards visa processing time.

On the 29th December any due visa support documents should still be issued however if you are applying for multiple entry business visa in London, your visa application can only be submitted to the Russian consulate on or after 11th January subject to when you can provide your biometrics.

Please be aware that if you require the original visa support document (not telex) for your application that the courier services from Moscow will be disrupted over this period.

Tourist visa support documents and TIN business invitations will be unaffected during this period and issued as usual.

Belarus: We will not be able to process Belarus tourist visa support documents on December 25th and 31th and on January 1st, 7th and 8th. These days will not count towards processing time.

Chinese: We will not be able to process letters of invitation from December 31st until January 1st inclusive. These days will not count towards processing time.

Kazakh: We will not be able to process letters of invitation from December 31th until January 1st inclusive. These days will not count towards processing time.

Mongolian: We will not be able to process letters of invitation from December 31th until January 1st inclusive. These days will not count towards processing time.

What about registration of my Russian visa?

Please note that for visa registration purposes it will generally not be possible to register visas between 31st December and 10th January unless you are staying in a hotel, and these dates are not considered working days with regards to registering your visa within 7 working days of arrival.

You should be aware that some local or regional registration offices may open during this period and you should check this on your arrival to avoid any complications. On days that the registration offices are closed, even if our office is open, it will not be possible to lodge or collect registration documents. But once again, this is not an issue if you arrive during this period as they are not counted as working days.

And what about Real Russia?

Opening times:

December January
23rd: 9am - 6pm 1st: closed
24th: 9am - 1pm 4th: 9am - 1pm
25th: closed 5th: 9am - 1pm
28th: closed 6th: 9am - 1pm
29th: 9am - 1pm 7th: 9am - 1pm
30th: 9am - 1pm 8th: 9am - 1pm
31st: 9am - 1pm  
December January
30th: 9am - 6pm 1st: closed
31st: 9am - 1pm 4th: 9am - 6pm
  5th: 9am - 6pm
  6th: 9am - 6pm
  7th: closed
  8th: 9am - 6pm
December January
24th: 9am - 3pm 1st: closed
25th: 10am - 3pm 4th: 9am - 6pm
26th: 10am - 3pm 5th: 9am - 6pm
28th: 9am - 6pm 6th: 9am - 6pm
29th: 9am - 6pm 7th: closed
30th: 9am - 6pm 8th: 9am - 6pm
31st: 9am - 10am 9th: 10am - 3pm

When will the translation services be available during the holiday period?

The last date for documents to be processed will be:

  • Normal service - 7th December
  • Express Service - 14th December

Documents received after these dates will start processing on January 2015.

Due to the holiday season there could be other factors which cause delays, please contact us with any questions of for more information.

As DHL are closed in Russia between the 1st and the 10th of January this will also distort times, as documents are sent there to be officially translated, so please bear this in mind when ordering.

Emergency Assistance

Our 24 hour customer help line will still be available all through the Christmas and New Year period where our operators are available to provide help 7 days a week, 365 days a year.