Although until recently it had been closed off from the rest of the world, Myanmar is a beautiful country, rich in culture and natural attractions.
However, to enter Myanmar, which was formerly known as Burma, you will most likely have to apply for a Myanmar Visa (Burma Visa, as it is.)
Do I Need a Visa for Myanmar (Burma Visa)?
Citizens of most countries need to apply for a visa before they travel to Myanmar. However, there are countries whose citizens are eligible to get a Myanmar visa through a facilitated process: online or on arrival.
Additionally, citizens from a few select countries are exempt from holding a visa at all if they are traveling for short-term purposes, such as business or tourism.
Who is exempt from a Myanmar Visa?
If you are a citizen of the following countries and you are traveling for tourism purposes, you are exempt from a Myanmar visa for stays of up to 30 days:
- Singapore (exempt from Myanmar visas for tourism and business purposes)
- Hong Konga
- South Korea
If you are a citizen of the following countries and you are traveling for tourism and business purposes, you are exempt from a Myanmar visa for stays of up to 14 days:
- Thailand (only if arriving by air)
The exemption only applies to holders of ordinary passports.
Myanmar Visa exemptions for holders of non-ordinary passports
If you have a diplomatic and official or service passport issued by one of the following countries, you are exempt from a Myanmar Visa for up to 90 days:
- Japan (for holders of diplomatic passports only)
- South Korea
If you have a diplomatic and official or service passport issued by one of the following countries, you are exempt from a Myanmar Visa for up to 30 days:
- North Korea
- Sri Lanka
See if you are eligible and how you can apply for a Myanmar eVisa.
What are the Types of Myanmar Visas?
Myanmar visas can be divided based on the application method as well as the purpose for which you will enter the country.
Based on the application method, there are:
- Regular Myanmar Visas, for which you apply at an Embassy or Consulate
- Myanmar eVisa, which you can apply for online
- Myanmar Visa On Arrival, which you can get at certain points of entry
Based on the purpose of travel, Myanmar visas are divided into:
- Myanmar Tourist Visas, issued to foreigners who will enter the country for tourism and other recreational purposes
- Myanmar Business Visas, issued to foreigners who will enter the country to conduct business (attend meetings or conferences, negotiate, etc)
- Myanmar Social Visa, issued to ex-Myanmar citizens or foreigners who have family relationships to a Myanmar citizen
- Myanmar Employment Visa, which is issued to foreigners who will come to work in Myanmar
- Myanmar Crew Visa, issued to aircrew members
- Myanmar Transit Visa, which is issued to foreigners who have to transit in Myanmar while on their way to a third country. This type of visa is only valid for 24 hours.
What Documents Do I Need for a Myanmar Visa Application?
When you apply for a Myanmar Visa, you must have several documents to support your application. The Myanmar visa requirements depend on the type of visa you apply for, but include:
- A passport, which has a validity of at least another six months
- Photocopies of the personal information page
- Two recent passport-size pictures, with 4.8 x 3.8 cm dimensions
- A completed Myanmar Visa Application Form (which you can download
- A copy of your flight itinerary
- If you are applying for a Business Visa:
- Letter of Recommendation from a registered company in your country
- Letter of Invitation from a registered company in Myanmar
- Payment of the Myanmar visa fee (in cheques, cash, or bank order, as requested by the Embassy/Consulate)
- Any necessary additional documents that the Embassy or Consulate require you to submit
How to apply for a Myanmar Visa?
There are three ways through which visa-required foreigners can get a visa for Myanmar:
- At an Embassy or Consulate of Myanmar
- Online (Myanmar eVisa)
- On Arrival
Applying for a Myanmar visa at an Embassy or Consulate of Myanmar
If you apply for a Myanmar visa at one of the Embassies or Consulates of Myanmar abroad, you have to:
- Find and contact the Embassy or Consulate of Myanmar in your country or the one responsible for your jurisdiction. Find the embassies of Myanmar listed here.
- Find out whether you need an appointment, learn their opening hours, and any specific requirements.
- Collect the required documents for a Myanmar Visa (see below)
- Submit the documents and application on the date of your appointment. Alternatively, some Embassies or Consulates will allow you to submit your application through the mail.
- Wait for the visa to be processed.
- If your application is approved, you can collect your visa or it will be mailed back to you, depending on which way you submitted the application.
- Within three months, you have to enter Myanmar, or the visa’s validity will expire.
How Long Does it take to Process a Myanmar Visa?
The processing time for a Myanmar Visa application is about two weeks for a regular Myanmar Visa application at the Embassy or Consulate.
However, the processing time changes depending on the country from which you apply, whether you apply in person or by mail, as well as the type of visa you apply for. Additionally, if you have any missing or incorrect documents, the processing time will be delayed.
You should always apply well in advance of the time you intend to travel, but not earlier than three months.
If you are applying for a Myanmar eVisa, the processing time is three days.
What is the Duration of a Myanmar Visa?
Once it is issued, a Myanmar visa is valid for three months during which time you can use it to enter the country. If you do not enter within three months, the visa will expire and you cannot use it.
Once you enter Myanmar, you can stay for up to 28 days or 70 days, depending on the type of visa you have.
- You can stay in Myanmar for up to 28 days if you have a:
- Tourist Visa
- Social Visit Visa
- Journalist Visa
- Crew Visa
- Workshop/Seminar Visa
- You can stay in Myanmar for up to 70 days if you have a:
- Business Visa
- Employment Visa
- Religious Visa
- Education Visa
If you overstay, you will have to pay an overstay fee for every day past the expiry of your visa (about $3 per day) when you depart.
Can you Extend a Myanmar Visa?
Whether you can extend a Myanmar visa or not depends on the type of visa you have. As such, a Myanmar Tourist Visa cannot be extended. However, you can apply at the Immigration Services in Myanmar if you have another type of visa, which can be extended, such as for business or employment.
Staying in Myanmar long-term for employment
If you want to live and work in Myanmar for a long-term period, you have to get a Stay Permit and Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa.
The Stay Permit can be issued for a period of three months to one year, and are valid for one entry. Therefore, you also need a Multiple Journey Special Re-Entry Visa, which will allow you to leave and re-enter Myanmar while you are living there. It is the Myanmar Ministry of Immigration and Population that handles applications for Stay Permits and Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visas.
Myanmar Visa Fees
The fees for Myanmar Visas are as follows:
- Myanmar Tourist Visa: USD 20
- Myanmar Transit Visa: USD 18
- Multiple Journey Special Re-Entry Visa: USD 180
- All other types of Myanmar Visas (business, employment, education, journalist): USD 36
Note: There are different prices for Myanmar eVisas and Visas On Arrival.
Is Myanmar Safe to visit?
Yes, Myanmar is relatively safe to visit. You should be safe when visiting the popular tourist spots such as Bagan, Inle Lake, Mandalay, Yangon, Hsipaw, Kiyakto, and the Mergui Archipelago.
However, you should avoid certain areas, such as the states of Rakhine, Kachi, and Shan, due to civil war and unrest.