Given that traveling to Myanmar is becoming more and more popular, one of the most common questions that we get from our readers who read our Myanmar content is regarding visas and how to get them.
Between the stunning pagodas, beautiful sunrises, and incredible local culture, it is no surprise that more and more travelers and visiting Myanmar while in Southeast Asia. In fact, Myanmar is now a common stop in the usual Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam sojourn that most backpackers go on.
In this article, I will cover exactly how to get a visa for Myanmar, including its validity and rough costs.
Key Myanmar tourist visa facts are listed below.
- Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Myanmar. Visa-free travel (for 14 days, or longer in some cases) is permitted for Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia and Laos passport holders.
- Citizens from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Macau are permitted visa-free travel for up to 28 days.
- Chinese passport holders can apply for a visa on arrival.
- In addition to getting visas at embassies and consulates, Myanmar has an online e-visa system. It is designed to make the process of application simpler for visitors – particularly those from countries that do not have a Myanmar embassy.
- For e-visa applications, go to the official Ministry of Immigration e-visa website. Citizens of 100 countries are eligible for Myanmar e-visas; to see the full list, go here. For a list of Myanmar embassies and consulates around the world, go here.
- E-visas are currently valid for entry at Myanmar’s three main international airports: Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw and overland travel to Myanmar via the Thai-Myanmar border points of Mae Sai/Tachileik, Mae Sot/Myawaddy and Ranong/Kawthaung as well as India-Myanmar border points of Moreh/Tamu and Zokhawtar/Rikhawdar (e-visa is not valid for China or Thai Phunaron/Htee Kee entry points).
- Due to the sensitive political situation in this border region, entry and exit via the Chinese land border of Ruili-Muse is restricted.
- Tourist visas are valid for 28 days, which can be extended by a further 14 days at a cost of US$3 per day (plus a one-off $3 administration fee). It is important to be ready with the correct change at your departure point. Bear in mind that if you overstay, you might encounter some difficulties booking travel and/or hotels in your overstay period, as not all service staff are aware of the overstay allowance.
- Do not apply for your visa too early: the period for visa validity (i.e. your Myanmar entry date) may range from one to three months.
- Do not apply for your visa too late: if you are applying for a paper visa, embassies and consulates can take anything from one day to more than two weeks to process your application. If you are from a country that does not have a Myanmar embassy or consulate and you are unable to apply for e-visa, it will take longer still.
- You must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after your departure from Myanmar.
- A single entry tourist visa will typically cost around US$50. Depending on which country you are applying from, the application procedures may vary, but it is usually a simple process. Go here to find your local embassy or consulate.
Myanmar Visa on Arrival
A few years ago, getting a visa on arrival was possible, but nowadays, the Burmese government seemed to have taken this away except for a few nationalities. If you are from any of the neighboring ASEA nations (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand, or Vietnam), you are able to enter and get a visa on arrival, allowing you to travel freely within the country.
For those who are not ASEAN residents and who wish to go to Myanmar, you have two options. You can either enter the country by applying in a designated Myanmar embassy or through their Electronic Visa application.
For those applying electronically, while there are a few travel agents who claim that they can arrange this for you, you can also visit the Ministry of Immigration’s website to apply for your own. The downside is that it is often unreliable and is only slowly making strides.
As of April 2018, they announced that they are now able to expedited services, allowing you to apply for a regular Tourist Visa with results being e-mailed to you within 24 hours. As this is all relatively new, we are still waiting on feedback from people who have tried this service themselves.
Prior to applying though, the e-visa has a few rules to abide by:
Currently, passengers with eVisa are only permitted to enter via following ports :
- Yangon International Airport
- Mandalay International Airport
- Nay Pyi Taw International Airport
- Tachileik Land Border Checkpoint
- Myawaddy Land Border Checkpoint
- Kawthaung Land Border Checkpoint
If you are traveling to Myanmar via boat, you will need to secure a visa beforehand as electronic visas are not honored in any of the seaports. You can check the rest of their rules and regulations in applying for a eVisa for Myanmar here.
Myanmar Visa Validity & Cost:
It is important to note that the validity of the eVisa approval letter is 90 days from the issued date. If it is expired, your entry will be denied. Your visa is valid for 28 days, plus the chance to extend for another 14, giving you a total of 42 days.
You will also need to have the information of where you are staying in Myanmar as you are only allowed to stay in registered hotels, motels, inns, guest house and resort during your stay in Myanmar.
Myanmar eVisa Cost: $56 (as of May 2018) for updated prices, please check the website linked above.
Myanmar Visa from an Embassy
Apart from the eVisa, a more reliable option on how to get a visa for Myanmar is by applying in your nearest Burmese/ Myanmar consulate. If you’re already in Asia, the most convenient one is located in Bangkok.
Here, you can get a visa in 1-2 days or they also have an express, same day service which is a lot more expensive. It is important to go here ahead of time as their visa center is only open from 9am-12pm. The lines can get pretty long so make sure you go early. When we were living in Thailand, we learned from experience that it is best to check government websites ahead of time in case they were closed for a public holiday!
Documents for Myanmar Visa
In order to get your visa from the nearest consulate, you will need two passport photos, cash, and a photocopy of the photo/personal details page of your passport. If you are having your visa expedited, you need to show your plane ticket to Myanmar. Sometimes, they will also ask for the name of your guesthouse or hotel so keep this in mind.