Myanmar’s tourism industry is witnessing significant growth as an increasing number of travelers are drawn to explore its rich culture and natural beauty. To facilitate smoother entry, the Myanmar government has reintroduced the electronic visa (eVisa) application system, making it more convenient for travelers to secure visas.
International travelers must know about the entry policy of Myanmar before planning their trip, including the various visa types available. Once they understand the policy, they can navigate through the visa application process confidently.
Travelers from over 70 foreign countries can enter Myanmar with an electronic travel authorization (eVIsa) for activities related to tourism and business.
The eVisa, which was introduced by the government of Myanmar in 2014, permits foreign nationals to enter and remain in the country for a short time in a validity period of three months.
Foreigners can apply for a Myanmar eVisa online by login into the official website of the country’s immigration department. They can also upload all the documents and pay the processing fee through the same website. They can enter the country through international airports in Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw. They can also cross the country’s land borders at a few international checkpoints.
The government of Myanmar grants a special exemption to travelers from a few eligible foreign countries to visit the Asian nation. They are not required to get a visa or an eVisa prior to entering the country. They can apply for a Myanmar visa on arrival directly at an international airport in the country.
However, the government of Myanmar suspended this facility recently. Travelers from eligible countries can contact the respective Myanmar embassy to know about the travel documents that they need to enter the country now.
To enter Myanmar, foreigners, irrespective of their nationality, must have a passport that is valid for at least six more months from the date of arrival in the country. This is to ensure that the traveler’s passport remains valid throughout their stay in Myanmar, as immigration authorities often require passports to have a minimum period of validity remaining. Most travelers are also required to obtain legal travel authorization (a visa or eVisa) from the government of Myanmar before their trip.
The applicant is required to upload a copy of their passport’s bio-data page. This page contains essential information such as the traveler’s name, date of birth, passport number, and other identifying details. It is crucial to provide a clear, legible copy of this page to ensure a smooth application process.
For travelers with children under the age of seven, it is important to note that if the child is listed on the same passport as the applicant, their name and date of birth must be included in the minor section of the application form. This information is necessary for authorities to properly assess the application and grant the appropriate permissions for the child to enter Myanmar alongside their parent or guardian.
In addition to the passport validity requirement, travelers need to provide a color photo taken within the last three months. The photo should measure 4.6 cm x 3.8 cm and must be a clear, recent representation of the applicant’s face.
Proof of onward travel and accommodation itinerary are essential components of a successful application to enter Myanmar. Applicants must provide evidence of a return ticket from Myanmar, demonstrating their intention to leave the country after their visit. This helps assure immigration authorities that travelers will not overstay their visas.
An invitation letter is a crucial document for business travelers wishing to visit Myanmar. This letter must be issued by a business registered in the country, confirming the purpose and duration of the visit. With an invitation letter and a business eVisa, foreign visitors can stay in Myanmar for up to 70 days within a validity period of three months. This allows for an extended stay to conduct business activities, build professional relationships, and explore potential opportunities in the country.
Similarly, foreign students planning to study in Myanmar must obtain an acceptance letter from a Myanmar university or educational institution. This document serves as evidence of the student’s admission to a specific program and outlines the duration of their studies. It is an essential requirement for obtaining a student visa, ensuring that the purpose of their visit aligns with their activities in Myanmar.
Proof of accommodation is an essential aspect of planning a trip to Myanmar, as it plays a significant role in the eVisa application process. One must provide detailed information regarding their stay in the country, including the address of their first hotel, hostel, guesthouse, or inn in Myanmar.
The Myanmar visa application will only be approved if the submitted address corresponds to a registered establishment. Registered accommodation refers to establishments that have been recognized and licensed by the authorities to host foreign visitors. To ensure a smooth visa application process, one must verify the legitimacy of their accommodation before submitting their eVisa application.
Upon entering Myanmar, travelers must be cognizant of customs requirements and prohibited items. Strict immigration and luggage checks help maintain airport and national security. Among the top six banned items for entry into Myanmar are:
Food restrictions encompass live animals, animal-related products, meat, eggs, milk products (excluding infant milk products from countries free of foot and mouth disease outbreaks), animal food, fresh fruits, vegetables, and seeds. However, dried fruits with clear labels, expiry dates, and origin are permitted.
For electronic devices, tourists may bring items such as camcorders, phones, laptops, and cameras, but not exceeding two of each device. Devices with lithium batteries require proper disassembly and packing.
Regarding cash and jewelry, amounts under $US 2,000 can be carried without a customs declaration, while sums up to $US 10,000 must be declared. When leaving Myanmar, the amount of foreign currency must not exceed the entry amount. The total value of gold, silver, and diamonds cannot exceed $US 5,000, and any amount above that requires a permit from a competent authority.
Myanmar enforces strict rules against the illegal possession, transportation, and entry of drugs and addictive substances, with violators facing severe penalties. Prescription medication must be accompanied by supporting documents, a doctor’s certificate, and the name of the prescriber and user. Tobacco and alcohol allowances for tourists entering Myanmar include a maximum of 200 cigarettes and 1 liter of wine. Exceeding these limits may result in confiscation and administrative sanctions.
Banned weapons, explosives, and toxic substances consist of various items, such as guns, gun parts, toy guns, slingshots, daggers, hammers, axes, darts, swords, bullets, grenades, explosives, gunpowder, fireworks, flares, chlorine, mercury, detergent, oxidants, toxic contaminants, and materials containing radioactive substances.
Additionally, prohibited items include depraved content, anti-Myanmar content, and national confidential documents. Familiarity with these rules helps travelers prepare their luggage appropriately and avoid issues during entry procedures into Myanmar.
Foreign travelers with proper entry permission can enter Myanmar via air and land. The Asian country has three international airports -- Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw.
Yangon international airport is the busiest airport in the country. Located in the city of Yangon, the airport handled over 6 million passengers (both domestic and international) in 2018. Today 34 airlines operate regular flights to 33 international destinations, including Dubai, Beijing, Tokyo, and New Delhi. Yangon is the main gateway to Myanmar and has a capacity to handle over 20 million travelers per year, and has four terminals.
Nay Pyi Taw international airport is located about 15 kilometers away from Naypyidaw, the country’s capital. Inaugurated in 2021, the airport has the capacity to handle over 3.5 million passengers, and the government of Myanmar has extensive plans to expand its capacity and facilities in the future. Mandalay international airport is the second busiest airport in the country. The airport has flight services to 11 domestic and seven international destinations, and it also boasts the longest runway in Southeast Asia (4,267 m) that is currently in use. The airport, at present, has one terminal catering to both domestic and international passengers. Myanmar’s land borders between Thailand and India are open for foreign travelers. However, the border crossing along Laos remains uncertain.
Myanmar land ports along China and Bangladesh borders are closed to foreign travelers. Foreign nationals with a Myanmar eVisa can enter the country through these land ports. The eVisas are valid at two India-Myanmar border crossings and four land ports at the country’s Thailand border.
However, only travelers with a regular Myanmar paper tourist visa can cross Htee Kee/Phunaron land port at the India-Myanmar border.
A Myanmar eVisa or visa does not guarantee entry to the country. All international travelers arriving in the country should undergo various security and immigration checks. Myanmar immigration officials may ask questions with regard to the purpose of the visit and others.
There may also be questions with regard to identity and travel documents. Foreign nationals must answer the questions honestly. They should also keep all their documents in order and easily accessible. If the officials find something amiss, they may deny entry. It is also very important to follow the visa rules while in the country. Note that foreigners who are overstaying the permitted duration of stay will have to pay heavy fines, and they may not be allowed to visit the country again.
Known as the home of Theravada Buddhism, Myanmar is unique in culture, traditions, topography, and food habits. The country definitely has much to offer for travelers from around the world. Most travelers come to the country to explore Myanmar’s unique culture and topography. They come as tourists for a short period of time. Foreign businessmen, too, constitute a portion of foreign travelers to the country. Then, there are foreign nationals who come to the country to learn more about Buddhism and do various courses in meditation in Myanmar monasteries. Foreigners from a few countries come to the country to work, especially in the Myanmar branch of a foreign company.
Based on the purpose of the visit, duration of stay, and country of origin, foreigners can get different types of visas to enter the country. Citizens of a few foreign nations, such as Singapore, Russia, Philippians, and Thailand, can enter the country visa-free. They have to carry their passports and other supporting documents to enter and stay in the country for short-term not exceeding 30 days.
See Myanmar Visa Policy for a more in depth explanation of the regular visa process. This may include different visa types, steps behind completing an application, and processing times.