Myanmar to introduce e-visas

MYANMAR’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has unveiled plans to roll out an electronic visa system sometime this year.

“In late December, we had a coordination meeting with the Minister of Hotels and Tourism on… the launch of an e-visa system at entrance and exit points at airports, seaports and border checkpoints to make it more convenient for foreign visitors entering Myanmar,” a ministry spokesperson said.

“We also discussed about boat voyages in the Kawthoung region, development of Dawei and Myeik tours, and the establishment of more hotel zones for the next peak season. All these plans are being discussed and we will try to implement them very soon – before the next peak season.”

The spokesperson added that the online visa system would be tested before being officially introduced. “We hope to start the e-visa system as soon as possible this year, but at the moment we are not in a position to say exactly when,” he said.

Myanmar’s government introduced a visa on arrival (VOA) system on May 1, 2010 that allowed foreign visitors from any country avail of a VOA at Yangon and Mandalay international airports without having to make prior arrangements with a travel management company.

However, the VOA was suspended just four months later by the Department of Immigration and National Registration.

VOAs are currently permitted for passengers on Myanmar Airways International flights arriving from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia and China’s Guangzhou.

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