Immigration Ministry Outlines New Visa Regulations

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 7 January 2016

RANGOON — Burma’s immigration ministry has announced new visa regulations effective from Jan. 11, clarifying visa options for short and long-term visitors.

The Wednesday announcement outlines 12 types of single-entry visas and three multiple entry visas, detailing how and when each document can be obtained.

The regulations do not indicate any major change of policy, but rather clearer procedural resources to bring Burma’s visa policies more in line with Asean standards.

As of Jan. 11 there will be 12 types of single-entry visa on offer: diplomatic; official travel; tourist; social; journalist; crew; workshop; business; employment; religious; educational; and 24-hour transit visa. Business, workshop, crew and transit visas will be available upon arrival.

Three types of multiple-entry visas will be offered: special government approved re-entry; special re-entry; and 6-month stay re-entry visa.

Industry experts welcomed the announcement, predicting it will ease facilitation of travel for tourists, businesspeople and nationals living abroad.

Sabei Aung, managing director of Nature Dream Tourism said that her firm had struggled in the past with fluctuating and unclear travel procedures.

“Actually, before there were no clear regulations for visa application; we didn’t know how to do it,” she told The Irrawaddy. “But now our clients can ask us how to do it.”

“Now it’s clear, but what we want is to see the tourist visas extended to 45 days, instead of 28.”

The Asean community is expected to eventually implement a single travel visa allowing residents to move freely throughout the region, but it is still unclear when such a program could take effect.