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Posts Tagged ‘Myanmar Embassy Bangkok’

19th November 2009

Although not a major topic on this blog, the visa run is an issue for many expatriates, or expats, in Thailand. There was a time when remaining in Thailand for a virtually indefinite period of time simply required a “visa run” or “border run,” once every thirty days. However, Thai Immigration regulations have been in a state of flux for approximately 5-10 years and one of the biggest changes was the end of the infinite 3o day visa exemption. Today, a foreigner will usually only receive a 15 day visa exemption at a land border in Thailand. This is unhelpful for those wishing to remain in Thailand for a long period of time as Thai Immigration officials require at least 21 days of lawful status to convert a Thai visa or extend a Thai visa.

The border run or “visa run” is still important for many as it is still required of one in the Kingdom on a long term multiple entry Thai visa.  A one year multiple entry visa for Thailand provides the bearer with 90 days of lawful status per entry. In the case of the Thai business visa, business travelers often leave Thailand before their duration of stay has ended. However, in cases where the traveler must remain past 90 days he or she will need to leave the country and be stamped back in at a port of entry.

A common method of fulfilling this Thai Immigration requirement is through use of a land border. A very popular “border run” or “visa run” destination for those residing in Bangkok is Cambodia. Although currently their are some tensions with Cambodia that threaten to close the Cambodia border. At present, it would appear that the border will remain open. That being said, another issue arises. Namely, does one need a visa to enter Cambodia on their “visa run?” For most passport holders the answer to this question is: Yes. With the exception of ASEAN nations, most foreign passport holders need a visa to enter Cambodia. Currently the price of a Cambodian visa is $20 although this price could change.

Some border runners and visa runners opt to travel to other countries near Thailand as a method of fulfilling Thai Immigration requirements. Popular destinations are Burma (Myanmar), Laos, and Malaysia. Currently, Malaysia has a visa waiver program for most passport holders while Burma (Myanmar) requires a visa for those from nearly every nation. A Burmese visa can be obtained at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok. As to Laos, a visa exemption or visa on arrival is granted to most entrants when they are admitted to Laos at a port of entry.

Some opt to do their “visa run” using an airport. In this situation the visa runner needs to leave Thailand by plane and be stamped back into the Kingdom upon return. Malaysia has become a popular destination as the Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur is popular for short term Thai visa applications.

Thailand visa rules can act as an inconvenience to many foreigners in Thailand, but through research on the current Immigration laws one can make the process as hassle-free as possible.

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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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