Myanmar, or Burma as we know it, is a country that has had to endure a totalitarian regime, in some cases even bloody for a long time. Precisely because of this situation, absurdly, the nation has been preserved from adopting the Western style, so its culture has remained intact sheltered from the dangerous and harmful cultural influences of the West that in other nations have often “polluted” centuries of history and traditions.
The territory of Burma is beautiful and is home to many unspoilt places, real pearls to discover. The whole nation is a collection of wonders worth seeing at least once in a lifetime, starting from the cities of Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay.
Myanmar, known for the efforts of the activist Aung Suu Kyi, is in full transformation. Many things have changed, improved after the fight against the regime. In all this, fortunately, the wonderful spirituality that Burma spreads has remained what it was originally. For some years now it has been much easier to get around, and tourists have many initiatives in their favour that allow them to visit the country more economically, especially when it comes to travel.
One of the first things to plan when visiting Burma is to apply for an entry visa. Without a visa, in fact, it will be impossible to enter the country unless the visitors come from one of the adjacent countries. In that case they will be able to enter Burma with only a passport as long as the stay is 14 or at most 30 days.
There are two ways to apply for a visa to enter Burma:
Applying for a visa through the Burmese Embassy in Rome, however, is much more complicated since the procedure is longer and the documentation to be submitted is greater. It is therefore much better to apply for a visa online.
Now let’s see the requirements and the things to do.
The e-visa, the electronic visa to enter Burma, is intended for three types of travellers. Now let’s see what are the different types of visas for Myanmar and the different requirements associated with them.
The tourist visa requires entry via seven border crossings (mountain passes), three airports and four borders to be crossed on foot.
The airports from which you can enter Burma are the following:
The borders for access to Burma are these:
Excluding airports, all other access points are bordering Thailand. An important note to remember is that in Myanmar there are areas subject to restrictions and prohibitions. If you enter through land borders, you may run into one of these areas and be forced to give up because you would be banned from entering Burma.
Remember, also, that the document certifying your eligibility for entry into Burma, and thus authorising you to reach the Burmese border, is valid for up to 90 days, from the moment it is confirmed online.
After entering Burma you can stay there for 28 days. Access is only valid for one time and if you wish to return, you will have to repeat the electronic visa application procedure.
IMPORTANT! In order for the application to be successful, it is essential that your passport has at least another six months of validity from the moment you submit your Myanmar visa application. Otherwise the application will be refused.
The visa to enter Burma with the motivation “business”, is subject to the presentation of a document or “invitation” provided directly by the Chamber of Commerce, a Burmese company or an institution/association.
Special visas for entry into Myanmar affect two other categories of travelers: those who travel for reasons other than holiday and business and those who need to make a new entry into the country.
Visas for entry into Myanmar for the following categories are defined as ‘special visas’:
As regards visas for religious and study purposes, the validity is 70 days. All other special visas are equal, for duration, to the tourist one, therefore 28 days.
If you need to extend your stay in Burma for a longer period of time, you can do so by applying personally for a special re-entry visa by contacting the relevant office:
Foreign Citizen Affairs Office
Residence Permits Section
Pansodan Street, 122
Once you have filled out the online visa application form for Myanmar and completed the payment (we will also discuss the costs later on) you will receive confirmation of receipt from the authorities within about an hour. Within three days you should also receive the so-called “letter of approval”.
Please note that even if you receive this document, it does not mean that you have been granted a visa. It could happen, for whatever reason, that you are blocked and refused at the border. As a rule, however, apart from a few exceptional cases or if the reason for your visit is unclear, you can rest assured that you will get a visa.
Burma, in fact, is very interested in increasing the flow of tourists to its country. From April 1st, 2018 onwards, the state of Myanmar has adopted the special electronic visa called “Express Service”. By paying an extra six dollars compared to the canonical cost of fifty dollars of the tourist type e-visa, you can get the visa within 24 hours rather than in 72. As you will understand, therefore, the visa for Burma has a very low cost. Details of the costs can be found in the dedicated paragraph below.
As we were saying, the time frame for obtaining the electronic visa for Myanmar is quite short. In fact, if you do not receive the acceptance notice within a few days, you will still have the possibility to check the status of your application at this link, after entering your passport number.
Another important precaution is to avoid booking your e-visa during the days when the Thingyan Festival takes place, that is from the 13th to the 16th of April of each year. On these days of national holiday and other public holidays, the standard e-visa will not be active while the Express Service will. Remember this when you make your request on the website.
We also remind you that the visa is valid for 90 days from the date of issue and therefore it is essential to make the request no later than 60 days prior to the day of arrival in Myanmar. We stress the importance of this because if within 90 days the visa is not used, it expires and can no longer be used. You will therefore need to repeat the procedure to apply for a new one.
Important note: for children under 7 years of age who have their own passport, it is necessary to make a separate e-visa request. If the child is present in the passport of the accompanying parent or guardian, simply fill in the detailed description fields concerning the child on the application.
As promised, we will now provide you with all the details on Burmese e-visa costs for the two main categories of travellers.
The e-visa for those visiting Burma for tourist purposes costs $50, plus an additional $6 for the Express Service if required. If you decide to use the service of an operator, or agency, charge an additional $25 or so for handling the case.
The electronic visa to enter Burma for business purposes costs $70, to which you will have to add the usual $6 for the Express Service and the other $25 if you want to be followed by an agency in the instructions.
To request your e-visa online, you must have your own passport size photo, both digital and colour. The file size must not exceed 2mb with a height of 4.6 cm and a width of 3.8 cm. The photo must be centered, in the same way as the one you used for your ID card and your passport. Keep your passport handy to quickly retrieve the number you will need to fill in the form.
To submit your visa application for Burma you must first access the Official Website of the Republic of Myanmar.
Once the page is displayed, remember to select the “tourist visa with Express Service”, marked with the amount of 56 dollars that you see at the top right. Depending on your needs, you can choose the formula you prefer without too many difficulties because the compilation is very simple and intuitive.
Then continue with this first part by completing the fields related to your nationality, then specifying from which airport or border you want to enter Burma and indicating the e-mail address where you want to receive the visa. Enter the security code at the bottom of the screen, confirm it and go to the second page.
On the next page you will be asked for your personal data and some information about your stay in Myanmar. You can enter the destination hotel you have booked in this form. It will be sufficient to make a reservation in a structure that provides for possible cancellation without charge and then you can change hotel if you wish. The important thing is not to indicate, in this part of the form, private houses or anything else (for example couchsurfing solutions) as a reference of your accommodation, as you could risk being denied a visa.
Also indicate whether or not you have relied on a tour operator. To complete this section, enter your photo with the characteristics we have indicated and then check again the accuracy of the data you typed in.
Once you have checked that the data is correct and there are no errors of any kind, proceed with the payment. Once this is done, you should receive the confirmation letter by email within three days. If you do not receive any communication during this time, please log on to the official Myanmar visa web address, which was mentioned above, to check the status of your application.
If, unfortunately, your visa application is rejected for some reason, you will not be able to obtain either explanations or refunds. If the procedure is successful and you receive authorization by e-mail, you will be able to print out the message received and hand it over together with your passport when you enter Myanmar.
If you have read the information in the letter of authorization, you will have noticed that there is a suggestion for the tourist to demonstrate that he can certify his economic autonomy for the duration of his stay in Burma and that he is in possession of the reservation for the return flight to his country.
The Burmese authority is very flexible in this regard and will not raise any difficulties by asking you both about your self-sufficiency and your return flight/ticket. However, there is another possibility, as some airlines, for fear of having problems with the government or being fined, demand that you have your return booking with you and include it as a condition for your boarding.
If you intend to return to your country via a Myanmar land border or have not yet booked your return journey, please take this into account.
Well, we have explained to you the online procedure for applying for your Myanmar e-Visa and have given you the most important warnings to take into account in order to make your journey as smoothly as possible. Now you just have to decide the dates for your departure and deepen your knowledge of this mysterious and fascinating country.
You just have to choose one of our itineraries and we wish you a good trip to Burma!