Getting a visa to visit Myanmar was surprisingly easy.
Likely this is an effort to attract more tourists to the recently opened country.
Of course you always have the option of getting your Myanmar visa at a Myanmar Embassy or Consulate. I always recommend doing this if you live in a city where the embassy or consulate is located because doing it this way tends to be the fastest and most stress-free way to get any visa (at least in my opinion).
However, if you do not live where there is an embassy or consulate or if you are traveling, Myanmar now has an online visa system. And amazingly, it works pretty well.
NOTE: You can only use the e-visa when you enter Myanmar via Yangon or Mandalay International Airports. If you enter the country any other location you must get a visa in advance.
Fill out the online application.
You will enter basic information. Here are the questions as listed on the website
( 1 ) your full name as in your p/p ( 2 ) gender ( sex ) ( 3 ) father’s name ( 4 ) nationality ( 5 ) race ( 6 ) religion ( 7 ) p/p related five data : passport ( a ) number ( b ) issue date ( c ) expire date ( d ) place of issue & ( e ) issuing authority ( 8 ) date of birth ( D – M – Y ) ( 9 ) place of birth ( 10 ) occupation in native country ( 11 ) full address in native country together with contact phone number ( not PO Box No. or C/o address ) ( 12 ) purpose of visit to Myanmar ( 13 ) arrival / departure dates to / from Myanmar ( 14 ) flight number & airline that you will fly in / out of Myanmar ( 15 ) personal related four data, colour of your ( a ) hair ( b ) eyes ( c ) complexion & ( d ) your height (16) your hotel in Myanmar.
You also need proof of your round trip flight to/from Myanmar, a valid passport (as usual).
You will also have to upload a passport photo to the online application.
For us this was actually the most difficult part. The e-visa website is very slow and very particular. You cannot upload just any photo. It has to be a very small file size and cropped to the exact size of a passport photo.
The system rejected about 20 of our photo attempts before we finally found one that could be accepted.
Because the system was slow and because of our issues with the photo uploader, the online application took us about 2 hours for 2 people so be sure to set aside enough time to complete this part.
When you finish your online application you will have to pay for the visa. As of now, the fee is $90 (USD) per person. This can be paid by credit card.
Wait for visa approval letter (email)
This is the part that can take a while. Both websites claim that the letter will be emailed to you within 7-10 days, however in the fine print it says this can take up to three weeks.
*be sure to leave yourself enough time for this process*
Our visa approval letter came in 8 days.
When it arrives you receive an email with a link. Then you must log into the e-visa website to retrieve your visa approval letter.
You must then print it out to take with you to the airport.
This letter entitles you to a 1 month visa for Myanmar from the date of entry. The letter is valid for 3 months, giving you time to arrange your flight if you have not already done so.
Now that you have your visa approval letter it is time to enter Myanmar.
Both websites claim that you must have your visa approval letter, 2 passport photos and $30 in cash to claim your visa at the visa on arrival window (just before immigration counters).
However, we did not need this.
We went to the visa on arrival window and were simply waved ahead to the normal immigration counters.
There we handed over our passports and visa approval letter and were issues stamps in our passports (aka our 30 day visa).
*I recommend having the cash and passport photos with you just in case they do require this when you arrive.
Now that the visa system is so simple there is no excuse not to go to Myanmar. Check out my posts later this week chronicling our time there!