Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Myanmar. Visa-free travel (for 14 days, or longer in some cases) is permitted for Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos passport holders.
In addition to getting visas at embassies and consulates, Myanmar has an online e-visa system. It is designed to make the process of application simpler for visitors – particularly those from countries that do not have a Myanmar embassy.
For e-visa applications, go to the official Ministry of Immigration e-visa website. Citizens of 100 countries are eligible for Myanmar e-visas; to see the full list, go here. For a list of Myanmar embassies and consulates around the world, go here.
E-visas are currently only valid for entry at Myanmar’s three main international airports: Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. The e-visa system is not valid for overland travel to Myanmar, although it expected to expand to the four Thai land border crossings soon.
Due to the sensitive political situation in some border regions, entry and exit via land borders is restricted; there are four Thailand border points that do not need permission for crossings, but China and India require special permits. See arriving and departing over land for more details.
Tourist visas are valid for 28 days, which can be extended by a further 14 days at a cost of US$3 per day (plus a one-off $3 administration fee). It is important to be ready with the correct change at your departure point. Bear in mind that if you overstay, you might encounter some difficulties booking travel and/or hotels in your overstay period, as not all service staff are aware of the overstay allowance.
Do not apply for your visa too early: the period for visa validity (i.e. your Myanmar entry date) may range from one to three months.
Do not apply for your visa too late: embassies and consulates can take two weeks or more to process your application, but this changes from country to country. If you are from a country that does not have a Myanmar embassy or consulate, it will take longer still.
You must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after your departure from Myanmar.
A single entry tourist visa will typically cost around US$25 (an e-visa will cost $50). Depending on which country you are applying from, the application procedures may vary, but it is usually a simple process. Go here to find your local embassy or consulate.
GETTING A MYANMAR VISA IN THAILAND
If you are not getting your Myanmar visa before you leave your country of origin, one of the most likely places might be Thailand, either in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. The process in process in Bangkok is straightforward:
The visa section at the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok is open from 9am to 12 (noon) for applications. Note that there are often long queues, sometimes with over two hours of waiting – particularly in the high season from November to March. The embassy is closed at weekends.
Visas cost 810 Thai baht for two working day completion; 1035 baht for next day; or 1260 baht for same day. Same day completion requires you show plane tickets for a flight to Myanmar within 24 hours.
You will need two passport photos and a photocopy of the photo/personal details page of your passport (there is a photocopier at the embassy). For same day visa completion you will also need to show your plane ticket to Myanmar.
Visa pick up is between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.
The Myanmar embassy is close to Surasak station on the BTS Skytrain (Silom line); head east on Sathorn Road and the visa section is on your left after 250 metres (five minutes walk).
Go to embassies and consulates for the full addresses of the Bangkok embassy and Chiang Mai consulate.
Note that visa on arrival for tourists in Myanmar is no longer available.