It used to be possible to apply for tourist visas on arrival in Burma. This is no longer the case. However, the steps you need to take are very simple and relatively quick to complete. Once you have your visa, you will be able to relax and head off to enjoy your trip to Burma.
Before traveling to Burma, ensure your passport will continue to be valid for a least six months after your planned date of arrival. Tourist visas are valid for three months from the date of issue and allow you to stay in the county for up to 28 days counting from the date of arrival. You can enter and leave Burma via the international airports at Yangon and Mandalay. For reasons of security, travelers are advised not to cross the border into any of Burma's neighboring countries.
The cost of applying for a visa is $25 in the USA, C$30 in Canada, £14 in the UK and A$35 in Australia and New Zealand (for prices for other English-speaking countries contact the local Myanmar embassy) and you must provide your passport, a completed application form and three copies of a recent ID photo.
It takes a minimum of three to seven days to receive your visa when submitting your application in person at the Burmese embassy or consulate in your country of residence. Allow two weeks for postal applications to be processed. Don't forget to enclose a stamped envelope with your return address so that your documents can be returned to you.
Visa processing times can vary depending on the time of year. The best way to avoid problems is to apply enough time in advance and phone the embassy or consulate first to check their opening hours.
Travelers can now apply for visas online. To do so, you will need to provide your passport number, personal details, the name and number of the travel agency (if applicable) and a photo. Once you have done this you will need to pay a $50 online application fee by card. When applying online it will take five days to receive your tourist visa if you application is accepted. All you then need to do is produce your acceptance email on arrival in Burma and collect your visa. This procedure is only valid when arriving via Yangon however.
You can also apply for your visa through agencies such as Action Visa or Visas Express, who will charge you an additional fee for the service.
Just before landing, you will be given a short form on which you will need to provide your name, address and the name of your hotel. You will then proceed through customs, where your passport will be stamped and your visa verified.
It is not possible to extend a visa. The easiest thing to do, therefore, is simply stay in the country and pay $3 for each day you overstay your visa to the airport immigration service. Burma permits tourists to remain in the country for up to two weeks after their visas have expired.
USA: Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar - 2300, S Street, NW Washington DC, 20008-4089 Tel. (202) 332 4352 or (202) 238 9332
United Kingdom: Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar - 19A Charles St, London, W1J 5DX. Tel. 020 7148 0740 or 020 7499 4340.
Canada: Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar - 336 Island Park Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, ON K1Y 0A7, Canada. Tel. +1 613-232-9990
Australia: Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar - 22 Arkana St, Yarralumla, ACT 2600. Tel. +61 2 6273 3811 or +61 2 6273 3751