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Posts Tagged ‘Burma Visa’

20th February 2012

In previous postings on this web log the issue of a single travel document for use throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been discussed. ASEAN includes many of the nations which comprise Southeast Asia including: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam. At the present time, it is not possible to obtain a visa or travel document which would allow entry into all of these nations as travelers must obtain a visa for each individual country before traveling thereto (in some cases, visas on arrival or visa exemptions may be obtained depending upon the local immigration rules and the passport holder’s nationality). Many travelers find that this situation can make traveling in Southeast Asia rather difficult as obtaining multiple visas from multiple Embassies and/or Consulates can be a time consuming endeavor. In an effort to remedy this situation, many of the ASEAN nations have voiced support for a single ASEAN visa scheme. However, efforts to implement a single ASEAN visa program have yet to bear fruit. Recently, it came to this blogger’s attention that the Vice-President of Indonesia has made comments in support of further efforts to facilitate a single ASEAN visa program. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from a January 13th article posted on the website Philstar.com:

JAKARTA (Xinhua) – Indonesian Vice President Boediono asks the ASEAN to speed up implementation of a joint visa for the region in order to boost the number of foreign tourist arrivals and services in the industry in the region amid the global economic crisis threat, a statement from the vice presidential office said here on Friday…”The goal that we want to reach is not only the increasing number of tourist but also the improved quality of services and the sustainability of the visits,” Boediono said…ASEAN leaders had given commitment for the implementation of the facility during the 11th ASEAN Summit in Bali in Nov. 2011.

Readers are asked to click upon the hyperlink noted above to read this article in full.

There is little doubt that a single ASEAN visa scheme would provide benefits to ASEAN members in the form of increased tourism especially for destinations that are sometimes overlooked by travelers put off by the prospect of processing more than one visa application. One could also speculate that a single ASEAN visa would be beneficial to business travelers wishing to visit more than one ASEAN jurisdiction.

Currently, it does not appear as though a single ASEAN visa scheme will be implemented in the near future, but there is room to hope that progress will be made as it appears there are many officials in the region who support the notion of a single ASEAN visa, at least conceptually. Meanwhile, issues associated with visa procurement in Southeast Asia are evolving. To shed further light upon recent developments it is necessary to quote directly from the website Eturbonews.com:

For now, non-ASEAN travelers have to play with different rules for almost each country…Myanmar just announced at the end of last month to implement e-visa facilities and relax entry into the country.

In an interview conducted by the Myanmar Times newspaper, Union Minister U Tint San declared on February 1 that the government will try to introduce an e-visa system from March that would allow international visitors to apply from anywhere via the Internet before visiting Myanmar. In parallel, the e-visa would allow travelers to enter or exit from any border crossing point. The web address for the proposed e-visa site is www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm . At ATF, Phyoe Wai Yarzar, Secretary of the newly-formed Myanmar Tourist Board, explained that e-visa facilities would, in fact, be the most efficient way for the government to balance the absence of diplomatic representations.

They are also rumors that Vietnam would work on a e-visa solution. There is already the possibility of getting a pre- E-visa clearance in certain cases. But the procedure remains expensive and on a case-by-case basis. Officials from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism admitted during the ATF that lengthy visa formalities are certainly a major handicap to the development of tourism. Nothing official has been announced so far, but it seems that the government seems to realize that it has to change the way visa is provided if Vietnam does not want to lose out tourists to other destinations.

The administration of this web log encourages readers to visit the hyperlink noted above to read this article in detail.

In the past, the process for obtaining a visa to enter Myanmar (Burma) could be quite cumbersome. It has been this blogger’s relatively recent experience that obtaining a Myanmar visa is somewhat time consuming, but not particularly difficult compared to visa procurement for other nations in the region. Hopefully, the developments mentioned above will lead to further streamlining of visa processing for those wishing to enter countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar (Burma).

Although it remains to be seen when a single ASEAN visa scheme will be fully implemented ASEAN members appear committed to such an endeavor which will likely provide benefits for all concerned.

For related information please see: Thailand visa

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24th October 2009

For those traveling to Myanmar information on the Myanmar (Burmese) Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand may be helpful in making preparations for a Myanmar visa application. The government of the Union of Myanmar requires a sort of “exit visa” for those leaving the country if they have not received a Myanmar visa before entering the country. Therefore, it is highly advisable to obtain a Myanmar visa before traveling to the country as it will make the entrance and exit process a great deal more streamlined. Myanmar requires many foreign nationals to obtain a visa in any event. That being said, the Myanmar visa application process can be a rather cumbersome undertaking as the Myanmar Consular Section, although very courteous and polite, seems to have a very heavy caseload of visa applications.

Out of all the countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Myanmar is the only one that does not allow visa free travel for nationals of member nations. Therefore, those wishing to travel to Myanmar will likely need a visa unless they are able to enter on some sort of visa exemption.

The Myanmar Embassy is in Bangkok near Sathorn Road in the Silom area. Currently, the Consular Section is undergoing renovations so the waiting room is in a state of some disarray. Therefore, foreknowledge of the protocols may be beneficial. Currently, all applicants must submit their visa applications in person. Therefore, one cannot send a messenger in one’s stead. Applicant’s must get a number from the first window. The Consular officer will go over the visa application and if approved they will ask the applicant to remit their passport and return to pick it up. If the applicant submits the application late in the day, then it may be necessary to wait until the following day to pick up the visa and passport.  Myanmar visas are usually issued with a validity of 30 days. That being said, unlike a Thailand visa or an American visa, the Myanmar visa only allows presence in the country during that time period. Unlike Thai or US visas the entrant will not be stamped into the country in lawful status that may surpass the underlying visa’s initial validity. Something akin to a Thai visa extension must be obtained in order to remain in the Union of Myanmar longer than the initial visa’s validity period.

The Consulate will give the applicant a visa stamp in their passport as well as another slip which must be presented along with the visa at the Immigration checkpoint in Myanmar. After being stamped into Myanmar, the entrant can remain until the visa expires. Myanmar allows for tourist as well as business visas. That being said, business visas can be difficult to obtain.

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