Myanmar to add e-Visa points

More airports and two overland entry points will be added to Myanmar’s e-Visa scheme, according to the Ministry of Immigration and Population.

Two airports, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, will be added as well as four overland crossings along the border with Thailand, making it more convenient for international tourists visiting Thailand to extend their trips to Myanmar without the need to backtrack through Bangkok.

At present the only entry point valid for the e-Visa is Yangon’s international airport.

According to the Irrawaddy media report, the service will soon be extended to Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports and overland checkpoints at Myawaddy, Tachilek, Kawthaung and Htee Khee once trials have been completed.

The immigration ministry general director, Muang Muang Than, was quoted as saying: “We’re going to set up the machines, and we’ll conduct trials in Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. Once the system is working properly we will also introduce e-visas at four overland Thai-Burmese border stations.”

Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw are the two main international gateways after Yangon. Officials did not give a timeframe for adding more entry points.

The e-Visa system was launched at Yangon International Airport, 1 September and was 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 since. Tourists from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia are the top users, officials said.

Once the online application and payment of USD50 is made, an approval letter is sent by email within five days and this can be used to get a stamp on arrival at Yangon airport.

The visas are so far restricted to tourists and have a maximum stay of 28 days. They are valid for 90 days from the date of issue. Business visas can only be obtained through embassies or on arrival at the airport, but based invitation letters and other documents that need to be screened in advance.

The e-Visa programme is part of its Myanmar Tourism Master Plan (2013 to 2020), which comprises of 38 projects. Implementation of the plan is expected to cost USD486 million. The returns could be significant if projections for tourist arrivals meet targets.

Source : TTR Weekly