Burma to Launch Online Visa System for Tourists


Foreign tourists sightsee at Shwe Indein Pagoda near Shan State’s Inle Lake. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — Burma plans to launch an online application system for tourist visas later this year, according to the Ministry of Immigration and Population, which announced on Friday that it was opening a tender for the project.

As tourist arrivals in Burma continue to grow, the ministry has received complaints about the difficulties and delays in applying for visas at embassies, according to Maung Maung Than, director-general of the Department of Immigration and National Registration.

“We’re considering the process of online visa applications, and we’re confident we can get it operating by September,” Maung Maung Than told The Irrawaddy, adding that non-tourist visas would not be available through the new system.

Visa fees will be paid online, he said, adding that the fees would be determined later by the operating company and the government.

According to a statement in state-run media, information and technology companies can submit proposals for the project until July 16.

Currently, tourists must apply for visas at embassies in their home countries. More processing time is required if an applicant lives in a country without a Burmese embassy. Long wait times are also common at the embassies in Thailand and China, which neighbor Burma and see a high number of applicants.

Tourists can stay in Burma for 28 days on a single visa. According to figures from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, more than 2 million tourists came to the country in 2013. The ministry expects more than 3 million tourists this year.

Burma’s tourism sector saw the highest relative growth in Southeast Asia last year, with the number of foreign arrivals spiking 52 percent, according to a report by the UN World Tourism Organization. Despite the surging growth, Burma remains one of the region’s least-visited countries after decades of military rule and poor development.

2 Responses to Burma to Launch Online Visa System for Tourists

  1. Myanmar tourism Visa online system at present not reliable, money skimmer as seen last week, our friends from Thailand took the online visa for Myanmar , 90 $ US was deducted from their account, the confirmation letter was never sent to them, — in Yangon they arrived at the visa on arrival counter and had to register for another visa and pay another 40 $ US — is the old money with any Ministry , as Tourism or with a company which runs the business for the Ministry ???? The two were Mr Willment Leong – Singapore 16.6. TG 303 and Mr Jamnong – Thailand on 16.6.2014 TG 303, paid for a 5 day trip to Yangon over 120 $ US each Tourism Visa Fee to Myanmar.
    Is there anyone which can say that was right , if not who will pay back to our friends ……NOT gentlemen style we believe. These Online visa since years are always only installed and always change as some view make big money with it on additional fees and when the power changes than the company also changes which does the service , all but far away from transparency and clean Government of Myanmar…..
    Than you maybe have a Visa on Arrival but Yangon emigration department at airport needs to check twice again,– all a waist on time, waist on administration and not Tourism Friendly….Tourism to Myanmar still in the Child Hood mainly through the fact that many Ministries not work together but fight against each other and the President as head not telling hard enough how to be efficient – so every one knows what efficiency is – in other areas…. of course .

  2. Irrawaddy some kind of funny , what was posted is next day not there anymore , post again it is ousted as double posting ????
    You look like an U Ye Htut outpost in Chiang Mai

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