Myanmar: Chinese tap visa-on-arrival

YANGON: Myanmar’s Immigration Department reports 95,713 foreign visitors obtained business related visas-on-arrival at Yangon International Airport during January to October this year.

Chinese nationals topped the list with Japanese in second place. However, the report did not clarify actual breakdowns and percentage growth since the visas-on-arrivals were introduced in 2012.

Myanmar began issuing business visas-on-arrival for nationals from 26 countries on 1 June 2012, and expanded the list to include nationals from another 22 countries – mostly European countries 1 February 2013. Visas-on-arrival require some preparatory processing ahead of arrival at the entry point airport.

From 1 June 2013 to 31 August this year, at least 130,000 visitors obtained visas on arrival, immigration data shows.

The e-Visa system was also launched at Yangon International Airport, 1 September and has been used by 1,500 tourists during the first month, according to airport officials.

In the initial phase, 41 nationalities were eligible for e-Visas. That has now risen to 67 countries. Tourists from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia are the top users, officials said.

The online application is initiated by a USD50 credit card deduction while confirmation takes another five days in the form of an email that travellers must print out and present on arrival at Yangon airport to gain an entry stamp.

The visas are restricted to tourists with a maximum stay of 28 days. They are valid for use for up to 90 days from the date of issue.

Business visas can only be obtained through embassies, or on arrival at the airport. For the second option, they are pre-processed, based on an invitation letter and other documents that are screened by immigration officials in advance. Once approved, the visa is stamped in the passport on arrival at Yangon’s airport.


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