Vietnam, Myanmar Ease Visa Restrictions

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Oct. 9 – In a move to strengthen relations between the two ASEAN countries of Myanmar and Vietnam, starting October 26, 2013, Vietnamese passport holders will no longer have to obtain a visa in order to visit Myanmar for short term stays of up to 14 days.

The visa exemption agreement, which was enacted to further simplify the procedures for and to facilitate the traveling of the two countries’ respective citizens, was signed late last week by Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

Myanmar currently grants various kinds of visa types, such as:

  • Entry visas;
  • Diplomatic visas;
  • Gratis official courtesy visas;
  • Tourist visas;
  • Business visas;
  • Transit visas; and
  • Multiple journey special re-entry visas.

Specifically, what this agreement allows is for Vietnamese citizens with passports that are valid for at least six months to enter Myanmar for visits of up to 14 days. If their visit is to be longer than 14 days, then they must apply for a tourist visa as per the normal regulations.

Following the enactment of this agreement, Vietnamese passport holder can now visit every other ASEAN country without a visa for limited time stays.

“This news is very welcome, and also comes at a time when many ASEAN nations are starting to relax visa restrictions,” comments Chris Devonshire-Ellis, Founding Partner of Dezan Shira & Associates. “APEC leaders have just announced a joint-communiqué to permit 1 million intra-APEC students to study in other APEC nations each year, Indonesia has relaxed visa regulations, and China has a stated goal of permitting 15,000 ASEAN students per annum to study in China. The barriers across the region are coming down – for visa issuance, trade and the free flow of young students and businesspeople. This will only help promote and develop trade, cultural links and greater understanding between these nations.”

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