Visa on Arrival
There is no such thing as visa on arrival in the same sense as we are used to with other countries and there is a lot of conflicting information on the web on this matter. One thing is for sure – most nationalities can’t just turn up at the airport without arranging something beforehand.
The following nationalities are eligible for a 14 days visa free in Myanmar unless stated otherwise:
- The Philippines
- Singapore (30 days)
People who have an American, European, or Australian passport need to apply in advance.
However, you can get a business visa on arrival at the airport rather than going to the embassy. It’s then possible to arrive in Myanmar and buy the business visa from the VOA booth for $70 USD. To be eligible for this type of visa, you do need to have a guarantor from a reliable Burmese establishment and a letter of invitation from your partner company.
E-Visa is the easiest way tourists can visit Burma and 100 different nationalities are eligible for it. Here is how you can obtain it.
1) You first visit the Myanmar e-Visa Official Government Website and complete an online form.
2) Upload your colour photo against a white background
3) Make a payment of $50 USD.
4) After the payment, it takes three business days (excluding weekends) to process and issue an approval letter.
5) You take the approval letter to one of the entry ports in Myanmar and the visa is issued when you arrive in the country.
The e-Visa is accepted at the following airports:
- Nay Pyi Taw
You can also enter the country with the e-Visa through the following land borders with Thailand:
Important Things to Know About the e-Visa
There are a few important things to note about the Myanmar visa form. The first is that the photo size requirements are strict. It needs to be 45mm x 35mm against a white background with your face central in the frame. Failure to do so will result in an increased likelihood of rejection.
The next point is that you need to stay in a registered hotel, guesthouse, or motel in Burma. You’re not permitted to stay at a residential address, which includes Airbnb, CouchSurfing, or staying with friends. The terms and condition make this very clear and you need to include your address in the application form. So, remember to book up a hotel before you apply.
The final point is that the application form requires you to write your permanent address, which may be confusing for people who are travelling or living as an expat. You’re also asked to write down your current profession. Though it’s very unlikely that either of these will cause problems.
In fact, when you have the visa approval letter, it takes less than a minute to enter the country and pass through immigration. The whole process is streamlined and efficient. As long as you have the approval letter with the correct details, you’re not going to face any problems.
What Areas are Restricted for Tourists
Be aware that even with the valid visa in hand tourists are unable to visit all parts of the country. Several places are restricted to foreigners without the necessary permission from the government in Myanmar. This includes remote places in the States of Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, and Shan. Some regions are restricted because of ongoing internal conflicts. You can find a reference link at the end of the article.
Though you can try to apply for special permission to visit these regions, it’s probably not worth the effort as it’s time-consuming and you’re unlikely to be successful. Instead, enjoy exploring the parts of Myanmar along with their traditions and customs in the places that you can visit.
How to Get a Visa for Myanmar
The fastest and most convenient way is to apply for a 28-day e-Visa. Here’s a checklist of the things you need to do before you can submit your application form:
Book up a (100% refundable) registered place to stay (hotel/ resort/ hostel).
Visit https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/ and start your application form.
Upload a 45mm x 35mm photograph in colour against a white background (carefully check the specific requirements).
Make the payment of $50 USD.
Receive and print the approval letter.
Bring the approval letter along with a copy of your hotel booking to the airport and get your e-Visa.
Myanmar Visa Resources
This section has a few important links that guide you through the process of applying for and being successful in getting your visa.
The government website to apply for your e-Visa:
Important notes about the tourist e-Visa:
Terms and conditions for applying for the Myanmar e-Visa. Read these carefully to make sure you’re aware of what’s expected of you.
This page provides information about the business visa on arrival:
A list of restricted areas in Myanmar for tourists:
- Information on how to apply for a social visa in Myanmar for former citizens and family members: