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Myanmar Introduces Visa-On-Arrival To Facilitate Foreigners' Entry


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Myanmar introduces visa-on-arrival to facilitate foreigners' entry

by Feng Yingqiu

YANGON, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar authorities started issuing visa-on-arrival Friday at the Yangon International Airport, aimed at facilitating foreign businessmen and tourists to enter the country smoothly for investment and tourism purposes.

The visa-on-arrival is being issued in three categories to those visiting Myanmar on business, transit and as a tourist from 25 countries and one region, namely nine other ASEAN member countries, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain and the United States as well as Taiwan region.

Business visa will be allowed for 70 days by paying 50 U.S. dollars, while tourist visa for 28 days with 40 U.S. dollars and transit visa for 24 hours with 20 U.S. dollars.

Visa-on-arrival was once halted in September 2010 ahead of then Myanmar's general election in November of the year.

According to official statistics, Myanmar attracted 8.464 billion U.S. dollars' foreign investment in 2011.

Total foreign investment in Myanmar hit 40.429 billion U.S. dollars in 458 projects as of January 2012 since the country opened to such investment in late 1988.

Meanwhile, a bill on the amendment of the over-two-decade-long foreign investment law is to be touched upon in the next parliament session due in June-July in the process of Myanmar's economic reform.

As for Myanmar's tourism industry, the government is also encouraging foreign investment in the sector.

According to figures, the number of tourists arrival at Myanmar 's Yangon International Airport alone reached 359,359 in 2011 which is expected to reach 1.5 million in 2012.

Statistics also show that such arrival at all entry points totaled over 800,000 in 2011, up more than 24,000 or 3 percent from over 790,000 in 2010.

The figures for the first two months of 2012 represented 98,486 who came mainly from North America, West Europe, East Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, according to the Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board.

There is a total of 739 hotels in Myanmar including 22 foreign invested hotels, four joint-venture hotels, six government hotels and 707 private-owned ones.

Myanmar earned 319 million U.S. dollars in 2011 from hotel and tourism sector, up 26 percent from 254 million U.S. dollars in 2010.

Meanwhile, Myanmar will rejoin the World Tourism Organization ( UNWTO) soon in a bid to promote the development of tourism sector.

The Myanmar Tourism Federation is raising fund to develop the sector at home and abroad, establishing training centers, preserving tourist sites, exploring new ones and participating in international travel shows.

By inducing more foreign investment in the hotels and tourism sector, it is expected that more job opportunities for the local people will be created.

The government is also expected to launch more than 50 hotels across the country over the next two years.

Source: http://news.xinhuane...c_131625088.htm

-- XINHUANET 2012-06-06

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Thanks for the information! I plan to go July 7. I'd feel better, if someone could personally confirm, that it really works again. Cuz then I can save half a day of queueing in BKK. :-)

Thanks, Frimu

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I wonder if you have to apply on line before you go (I think that is how they were doing it a few years ago) or if you just show up and get the stamp in the passport (like Thailand).

The Myanmar embassy in Bangkok has always been a pain; longest queue I ever waited in in my life. This is great news. Nothing bad meant about the staff at the embassy; I am sure this is great news for them too.

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Just have your visa form filled out with 2 photos, $40...give it to the visa guys at the counter and wait until completed. Maybe they will have a line this time rather than chaos when you hand it to them.

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wow "Business visa will be allowed for 70 days by paying 50 U.S. dollars"

compare to the very difficult thing to obtain a work permit in thailand... i guess many factories might just move to this so much cheaper country in the future

they clearly want farang investment, thailand changes the rules when they feel like and do not always update their policies on their website

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Despite reading on a number of sites that it is for tourist purposes as well as business, the only detailed information I can find relates only to Business visas - see the links below. On official Burmese Embassy sites in USA and Australia there is no recent information on the June 2012 changes.

http://www.myanmarvi...isa-on-arrival/

http://www.botschaft... on Arrival.pdf

Edited by raybal5
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So the difference between a businessman and a tourist is just 10 bucks? We don't need to show any documentation? Does any one have any details on this business? Seems a little too good to be true.

If it is the same as Cambodia, where you can have both Biz and Tourist; then nothing particular: tick your choice on the form and pay the relevant amount.

Edited by CantSpell
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So the difference between a businessman and a tourist is just 10 bucks? We don't need to show any documentation? Does any one have any details on this business? Seems a little too good to be true.

If it is the same as Cambodia, where you can have both Biz and Tourist; then nothing particular: tick your choice on the form and pay the relevant amount.

WOT - no hoops ?

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Despite reading on a number of sites that it is for tourist purposes as well as business, the only detailed information I can find relates only to Business visas - see the links below. On official Burmese Embassy sites in USA and Australia there is no recent information on the June 2012 changes.

http://www.myanmarvi...isa-on-arrival/

http://www.botschaft... on Arrival.pdf

Please refer to official government website from Ministry of Immigration and Population.

http://www.mip.gov.mm/visaonarrival/

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There are three types of visa available on arrival; Business; Entry and Transit. The term "Tourist Visa" is misquoted in the news. Visa on arrival for "Tourist" is only available if it is arranged through travel agencies in advance. (http://www.myanmarvisa.com/ for more details)

Apart from valid passport, photos and fees;

Business visa requires the "letter of invitation from the sponsoring company in the event of first trip of business study" or "copies of company registration/business license/ evidence of permission to do business issued by the ministries concerned together with the application if he is working in Myanmar". Entry visa is granted for the purpose of attending meetings, workshops, events and ceremonies and requires letter of invitation by the ministries concerned. (http://http://www.mip.gov.mm/visaonarrival/ for more details and application form)

Edited by zanaka
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Haha. And compare this to visa-free entry for Western countries to Thailand.. no fees, just show up with passport.

I'm not entirely confident they're really getting it yet. You know, tourism.

Given most Hotels are running at close to 100% occupancy presently, there is not a lot of reason for them to issue free visas on arrival. Let them enjoy some easy income whilst they can. Tourist arrivals this year have sky rocketed as it is. I for one, am very confident 'they're really are getting it'. As their infrastructure and facilities expand things will change as necessary. Myanmar is going places very, very quickly in my view. A number of other Countries in the immediate region will have to raise their own game quite considerably soon in many areas, otherwise they shall be left behind by a Nation which is bursting at the seams with enthusiasm.

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Anyone know if you can still go overland via Maesai for $10...? looks like the one day has been changed to $20... man they capitalized quick...double the entry fee??

500 baht per person as of last Sunday (and a couple of months ago) - they won't take US $ any more. We tried everything, thought we wouldn't have to pay or at least get a discount if we weren't actually going into Burma. We got our in and out stamp done by the same official in less than a minute each. That's a lot of money they're making.....

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Haha. And compare this to visa-free entry for Western countries to Thailand.. no fees, just show up with passport.

I'm not entirely confident they're really getting it yet. You know, tourism.

Given most Hotels are running at close to 100% occupancy presently, there is not a lot of reason for them to issue free visas on arrival. Let them enjoy some easy income whilst they can. Tourist arrivals this year have sky rocketed as it is. I for one, am very confident 'they're really are getting it'. As their infrastructure and facilities expand things will change as necessary. Myanmar is going places very, very quickly in my view. A number of other Countries in the immediate region will have to raise their own game quite considerably soon in many areas, otherwise they shall be left behind by a Nation which is bursting at the seams with enthusiasm.

I understand your enthusiasm for the recent loosening of the commercialisation/political reigns in Myanmar, but one needs to remember, they are at an entirely different and younger stage of development than many of their surrounding Countries and whilst there will be an initial surge of "catch-up", they also have a long, long way to go with their democratization and corruption is even more rampant than their neighbours.

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Haha. And compare this to visa-free entry for Western countries to Thailand.. no fees, just show up with passport.

I'm not entirely confident they're really getting it yet. You know, tourism.

Given most Hotels are running at close to 100% occupancy presently, there is not a lot of reason for them to issue free visas on arrival. Let them enjoy some easy income whilst they can. Tourist arrivals this year have sky rocketed as it is. I for one, am very confident 'they're really are getting it'. As their infrastructure and facilities expand things will change as necessary. Myanmar is going places very, very quickly in my view. A number of other Countries in the immediate region will have to raise their own game quite considerably soon in many areas, otherwise they shall be left behind by a Nation which is bursting at the seams with enthusiasm.

I understand your enthusiasm for the recent loosening of the commercialisation/political reigns in Myanmar, but one needs to remember, they are at an entirely different and younger stage of development than many of their surrounding Countries and whilst there will be an initial surge of "catch-up", they also have a long, long way to go with their democratization and corruption is even more rampant than their neighbours.

I think you have misread my post, but appreciate your point of view.

It is not my enthusiasm I'm referring to, but the general feeling within the country.

Perhaps this topic could be a whole new thread as I'm sure many people will have valuable input. However I still stand by my previous comments.

Corruption is a subject I don't wish to enter into and I know we all have our own experiences with this, however we are not on topic at all and my previous comments did relate to the costs of visa applications etc.

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40 Dollars for 28 days? Quite expensive. Seems the junta wants to rake in some money for some major future "business actions"!

Pretty cheap compared to some other countries.

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Anyone know if you can still go overland via Maesai for $10...? looks like the one day has been changed to $20... man they capitalized quick...double the entry fee??

500 baht per person as of last Sunday (and a couple of months ago) - they won't take US $ any more. We tried everything, thought we wouldn't have to pay or at least get a discount if we weren't actually going into Burma. We got our in and out stamp done by the same official in less than a minute each. That's a lot of money they're making.....

This seems to change by the day! When I went up 10 days or so ago, they not only accepted my fairly grubby $10 note, but didn't even inspect it before putting it in the draw at Tachilek. Maybe on a Sunday, the top-brass get the day off and the local boys are out to make a few baht.

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It's not actually visa-on-arrival as most people understand it. You apply for it before you go and get it at Yangon airport when you arrive. Personally, I'd rather have the visa in my passport before my (overpriced) flight leaves BKK.

Will the visa on arrival be available at airport only or as well for land travellers?

Unlikely. How will they keep the forced labour camps and drug factories secret if they let people in overland?

And look at the list of preconditions:

http://www.mip.gov.mm/visaonarrival/

It's going to be a long time before Yangon is the new Bangkok.

Edited by RogueLeader
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