Myanmar Extends Visa Regulations to Five New Countries
- Myanmar has extended visa on arrival access to Austria, Hungary, New Zealand, Czech Republic, and Luxemburg.
- Visitors unable to obtain a visa on arrival can acquire an eVisa, which can be approved within three working days.
- Despite the recent visa extensions, Myanmar is still prioritizing Chinese tourists as it increases its diplomatic ties with China.
As of January 1, 2020, the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population have extended the visa-on-arrival (VoA) access to five new countries.
This program will run for a three-year trial period and is part of the government’s Tourism Master Plan, which aims to maximize the tourism industry’s contribution to the national economy.The new countries included in the list are Austria, Hungary, New Zealand, Czech Republic, and Luxemburg. Myanmar has already extended VoA access to nationals of Australia, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland, in October 2019, for a one-year trial period.
Member countries of the ASEAN region do not require a visa to enter Myanmar.
What are the terms and conditions?
Visitors eligible for a VoA must adhere to the following terms and conditions:
- VoAs are for tourism purposes only;
- The VoA is available only through the entry points of the Mandalay, Yangon, and Nay Pyi Taw international airports;
- The VoA fee is US$50 and visitors can stay for a maximum 30 days;
- The duration of stay is not extendable;
- Visitors can only enter areas/regions that have been specified by the government; and
- All visitors can leave from any international exit point in the country.
Visitors who are not eligible to obtain a VoA can apply for an eVisa, which was launched by the government in 2014.
Through an eVisa, applicants can get a tourist or business visa by following these four steps:
- Fill a visa form online;
- Pay the fees (US$50 for a standard tourist visa, US$56 for an express tourist visa, US$70 for a business visa);
- Receive the eVisa via email within three working days (the express tourist visa can be received within 24 hours); and
- Upon arrival in Myanmar, present the eVisa to immigration officials to be stamped.
eVisa holders can enter Myanmar through one of the following entry points:
- Yangon International Airport;
- Mandalay International Airport;
- Nay Pyi Taw International Airport;
- Tachileik Land Border Checkpoint;
- Myawaddy Land Border Checkpoint;
- Kawthaung Land Border Checkpoint;
- Tamu Land Border Checkpoint;
- Rih Khaw Dar Land Border Checkpoint; or
- Htee Khee Land Border Checkpoint.
Visitors entering Myanmar with the express or standard tourist visa can stay for 28 days, while business visa holders can stay for 70 days.
Chinese visitors a priority
Despite the new VoA extension, a priority of the Myanmar government has been to increase the number of Chinese visitors, and investments.
Chinese nationals have been granted VoA access since 2018 and visitor numbers increased by 33 percent to more than 500,000 in 2019. Furthermore, there are more than 150 direct flights between the two countries every week, signifying Myanmar’s growing ties with China.
China’s President Xi Jinping recently visited Myanmar from 17-18 January 2020, the first by a Chinese president in 20 years. Both countries inked some 33 agreements under the Belt and Road Initiative covering infrastructure projects, such as the development of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), new railways linking China to the town of Kyaukpyu, and a deep seaport in Rakhine State.
ASEAN Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia and maintains offices throughout ASEAN, including in Singapore, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.dezshira.com.