Myanmar Opens More Border Check-points to Foreign Travellers on E-Visa

Tachileik, Myanmar

Myanmar’s Ministry of Immigration announced that three new border checkpoints are now able to welcome foreigners entering from Thailand with e-visas. “We are pleased to announce that starting from 1 September 2016,  e-visas can be used to enter Myanmar [Burma] from the following three land border checkpoints, between Myanmar and Thailand — Tachileik, Myawaddy and Kawthaung,” said the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population on its website, according to Myanmar local newspaper “Democratic Voice  of Burma”.

Myanmar simplified over the years entrance formalities for foreign travellers. E-visa was introduced a few years ago but until now, it is only accepted for tourists arriving at Yangon International Airport, Mandalay International Airport and Nay Pyi Taw airport.

Previously, visitors to Myanmar could only enter the country with e-visas via international airports at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. The three new check-in are Mae Sai/Taichilek which connects Chiang Mai province with Southern Shan State; From Central Thailand, e-visas are now accepted for the border linking Mae Sot to Myawaddy (Moulmein) in Mon State; from Southern Thailand, Ranong-Kawthaung is also integrated into the e-visa scheme. Kawthaung is a good entry point for Myeik archipelago and the beautiful unspoilt beaches along Myanmar coasts lining the Andaman Sea.

E-visas are available for citizens of some 100 countries. Fees for the overland visa are the same as before: US$50 for a tourist visa (28 days) and $70 for a business visa (70 days), payable online by Visa, MasterCard, Amex or JCB. Confirmation for the e-visa is generally confirmed within three working days.

So far, the Dawei/Kanchanburi border checkpoint has not been included into the e-visa scheme due to safety concerns for travellers as several armed groups are active in the area. However, the government continues to put the priority on facilitating international tourist arrivals into the country.

Bagan Airport is for example due to become an international entrance gateway with the possible start of Bangkok Airways direct  flight to Bangkok, planned by this coming October. Negotiations continue to establish customs and immigration facilities at the regional airport.