YANGON, 5 September 2016: Effective 1 September, Myanmar has extended its e-Visa facility to include three overland checkpoints in Thailand.
Myanmar’s Ministry of Labour Immigration and Population confirmed the addition of three overland checkpoints last week on its website.
It said the e-Visa is applicable at three land border checkpoints; Tachileik, Myawaddy and Kawthaung, effective 1 September.
Citizens of 100 countries are eligible for an e-Visa. They simply go online complete the form and pay via a credit card a non-refundable USD50 for a 28-day stay. Usually, they receive a confirmation email with a visa approval number, which they present to immigration officials along with their passport at the border checkpoint. The actual visa is stamped into the passport.
The service was limited to three international gateway airports; Yangon, the capital Nya Pyi Taw and Mandalay.
The ministry said in the past that it needed to upgrade its central database and bring land checkpoints online before the e-Visa could work properly without any approval delays.
The e-Visa saves the long queues and time-wasting trips to the nearest embassy to process a visa application. It also does away with the need to have visa-on-arrival which takes up valuable counter and queue space at airports.
Both the business and tourist e-Visas are available for travellers who want to enter the country through the three overland checkpoints.
Chiang Rai is likely to benefit the most as tourists can now plan a trip that combines far north Thailand and Myanmar. The e-Visa will allow them to transfer to Myanmar at the Mae Sai-Tachileik border checkpoint and continue their trip to Bagan and Mandalay overland or by domestic flight.
In the past, it would have required a visitor to apply for a visa at the nearest Myanmar embassy to cross at Tachileik.
The town also has an airport with domestic airline services offered by Asian Wings Airways, Air KBZ, Golden Myanmar and Mann Yadanapon Airways. They offer flights to Bagan, Hero, Yangon, Mandalay, Kyaingtong and Lashoi.
Mae Sot is on the Thai side of the Friendship Bridge in Tak province that connects to Myawaddy in Myanmar. It is possible to visit Hpa-an in Karen State or Moulmein in Mon State, and from there to Yangon.
The Ranong–Kawthaung checkpoint is the closest to Phuket and Samui and has potential to attract visitors from these two beach resorts who may wish to extend their travels to Myanmar without the complication of a side trip to secure a visa at the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok.
The e-Visa service for tourists through Yangon International Airport was launched 1 September, 2014 for 100 countries and was extended to Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, 9 November of the same year.
Authorities also introduced an e-Visa for business visitors from 51 countries at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw airports on 1 July 2015.
Passport holder from the following countries and Taiwan are eligible to apply Tourist e-visa:
Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Vietnam.
Passport holder from the following countries and Taiwan are eligible to apply Business e-visa:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Norway, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Slovenia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America and Vietnam.
For more information visit www.evisa.moip.gov.mm.