Published on Monday, 21 January 2013 12:41
Foreign tourists seen at the Yangon International Airport last week (Photo - Aung Zaw Tun/EMG)
Twenty-two countries have requested that the government expand its visa-on-arrival scheme to businesspeople from their countries, Immigration Minister Khin Yi said.
“If we grant [visas on arrival], they should also grant them to us,” the minister said in an interview with Eleven Media last week, but he added that such reciprocity would be difficult in some cases. “In some countries, like the EU countries, one country cannot grant us permission on its own. All 24 EU countries must agree on it,” he explained.
“That’s why we have submitted these [requests] to the government,” he added.
Last June, Myanmar launched its business visa-on-arrival program to business travelers from 26 countries, including Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China and the United States. The country extended this to residents of Hong Kong and Macao two months later.
Khin Yi said the government could immediately grant business visas on arrival to citizens of countries that would do the same for Myanmar citizens, but it would also consider granting them to citizens of countries who were unable to reciprocate.
“We have plans to either grant [the visas] to all 22 countries or to half of them,” he added.
Visas on arrival are only granted at Yangon International Airport to travelers with the necessary documents, including a letter of invitation from their sponsoring company. A 70-day business via costs US$50, a 28-day entry visa for meetings, workshops or events is $40, and a 24-hour transit visa is $20.
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