Myanmar plans visa exemption for ASEAN countries

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Myanmar borderThe Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it will try to sign reciprocal visa exemption with ASEAN countries in 2014.

With Laos, the country has already signed  a reciprocal 14-day visa exemption for ordinary passport holders in 2006. And there are agreements with Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines to develop a smart visa system for tourism development.

However, immediate neighbour Thailand has remained lukewarm on the  visa exemption proposal, with the country’s foreign ministry saying that it was  concerned about Myanmar citizens illegally entering the Thailand to work.

But border crossings are getting gradually easier. Myanmar on August 28 turned four border checkpoints to Thailand into gateways for international visitors. Any foreign national holding a valid passport with a valid entry visa issued by a Myanmar embassy is now allowed to enter and exit Myanmar through the border checkpoints at Tachileik-Mae Sai, Myawady-Mae Sot, Kawthoung-Ranong and Htee Khee-Punaron.

Earlier, for foreign nationals entering via those checkpoints, Myanmar issues either 1-day border passes or entry visas that are valid for up to a week but restricted to nearby towns. But with the new arrangement, tourists and business travelers who enter from those checkpoints will be allowed to travel anywhere inside Myanmar except the officially restricted areas.

The new arrangement, made possible under the recent agreement between Myanmar and Thailand, will also allow Myanmar citizens with passports and visas to enter and exit Thailand.

Myanmar has received over $29 billion from visa fees collected by its embassies, permanent missions, and consulates in international countries from April 2011 to May 2013.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

The Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it will try to sign reciprocal visa exemption with ASEAN countries in 2014.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Myanmar borderThe Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it will try to sign reciprocal visa exemption with ASEAN countries in 2014.

With Laos, the country has already signed  a reciprocal 14-day visa exemption for ordinary passport holders in 2006. And there are agreements with Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines to develop a smart visa system for tourism development.

However, immediate neighbour Thailand has remained lukewarm on the  visa exemption proposal, with the country’s foreign ministry saying that it was  concerned about Myanmar citizens illegally entering the Thailand to work.

But border crossings are getting gradually easier. Myanmar on August 28 turned four border checkpoints to Thailand into gateways for international visitors. Any foreign national holding a valid passport with a valid entry visa issued by a Myanmar embassy is now allowed to enter and exit Myanmar through the border checkpoints at Tachileik-Mae Sai, Myawady-Mae Sot, Kawthoung-Ranong and Htee Khee-Punaron.

Earlier, for foreign nationals entering via those checkpoints, Myanmar issues either 1-day border passes or entry visas that are valid for up to a week but restricted to nearby towns. But with the new arrangement, tourists and business travelers who enter from those checkpoints will be allowed to travel anywhere inside Myanmar except the officially restricted areas.

The new arrangement, made possible under the recent agreement between Myanmar and Thailand, will also allow Myanmar citizens with passports and visas to enter and exit Thailand.

Myanmar has received over $29 billion from visa fees collected by its embassies, permanent missions, and consulates in international countries from April 2011 to May 2013.

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