Myanmar is technically open to international travelers. However, the country has been placed on the do not travel list by many foreign nations because of the political unrest. Travelers planning a Myanmar trip must know about the travel restrictions and the documents they will require for the journey. If they are citizens of countries that are eligible for the electronic travel authorization, they can apply for it online. They can also upload their documents and pay the processing fee through the official visa website of Myanmar’s immigration department.
Travelers from other countries except those from visa-exempt foreign nations should get a Myanmar embassy/paper visa to enter and remain in Myanmar legally. Here’s what applicants for a Myanmar embassy visa need to know about the application process. Keep in mind the Myanmar eVisa is available for select travelers.
A Myanmar embassy visa for tourism is a legal authorization issued by the government to visit the country for tourism-related activities. International travelers who are not eligible for a visa-free entry or an eVisa must apply for this type of visa in a Myanmar embassy or consulate. A Myanmar embassy tourist visa allows a foreigner to stay in the country for a prescribed time period, provided they comply with the rules and regulations associated with this type of travel authorization and Myanmar law.
Citizens of a few foreign countries, including Singapore and Russia, are entitled to enter Myanmarwithout a visa. This is only for short-term stays that do not exceed 30 days (for some countries, it is 14 days) and for activities related to tourism. Earlier, the government of Myanmar used to grant visas on arrival to the citizens of a few countries. However, this facility stands suspended as of now. Travelers from over 70 foreign nationals are also eligible for Myanmar eVisas for tourism and business.
Foreign visitors, apart from the above-mentioned countries, must apply for a Myanmar paper visa for tourism from one of the country’s diplomatic missions.
Applicants who are required to get aMyanmar visamust apply through the country’s embassy or consulate. First, the applicants must complete the application form. They must check with the respective embassies that are responsible for their jurisdiction whether the form is available online or not. Most Myanmar missions offer online application forms. They also should contact the embassy to know if they need to get an appointment to submit the documents and application form. If yes, they need to go to the embassy on the date of the scheduled appointment to drop off the documents and form.
Some missions allow the applicants to mail the form and documents. They also need to pay the fee for visa processing. Embassy officials will verify the documents and the applicants should wait for some time to know whether their visa is approved or not. Once the visa is approved, the embassy will inform the applicants. They can collect it from the embassy or it will be mailed back to them. Note that a Myanmar tourist visa must be used within three months of approval.
The time taken to process a Myanmar tourist visa differs in different missions and countries. However, a majority of visa applications are processed in two weeks. This can change based on the volume of applications or the mode of application.
If there are any mistakes in the application form or if there is a missing document, the processing time can be delayed further. In such cases, applicants will have to either submit a new application or provide the missing document separately. The decision will be taken by the staff of the embassy. Applicants are advised to apply for the Myanmar visa well in advance in time for the planned trip.
The validity of a Myanmar tourist visa is 90 days from the date of issuance. Holders of a Myanmar tourist visa should visit the country within three months. Otherwise, the visa will expire. They are allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of 28 days during this period. Note that a Myanmar tourist visa cannot be extended. Foreign tourists staying in the country on an embassy tourist visa will have to leave the country before 28 days. Overstaying is punishable with heavy fines. They will have to pay heavy fines while leaving the country.
The fine amount is based on the number of overstayed days. In dire cases, foreigners can be deported or detained. Foreigners are advised to be extra cautious in Myanmar due to the country’s current political situation and should leave the country as soon as the purpose of their stay is achieved.
To get a Myanmar tourist visa, the applicants should provide certain identity and travel documents. They can vary based on the visa type a foreigner is applying for.
Following are some of them.
A child who is seven years and younger and who does not have a passport of his/her own can apply for a Myanmar tourist visa through his/her parent’s passport. All children above seven years have to apply for a separate tourist visa. Visa policies and regulations are subject to change from time to time. Applicants should contact the Myanmar embassy in their country to know the latest developments. They should also be aware that they can be denied entry even if they hold a Myanmar tourist visa.
They should keep their documents in proper order and follow the visa rules strictly. They will be verified and scrutinized by the immigration staff before granting permission to enter. Once they enter that country, they can explore the amazing topography and culture of the Asian country.