Myanmar Immigration & Visa On Arrival
Now for a less sexy blog topic (that I wrote and should have posted 2 months ago): immigration into a country.
Myanmar was a dream vacation to us, especially after hearing such strong recommendations from friends like Carlos “Valley of the Hidden Temples” Gomez and Matt “Motor Bike Around ” Zedler. There was one potentially significant “barrier to entry” to making this dream a reality though (pardon the pun): Obtaining a Visa.
We organized the trip ~6 weeks in advance (not recommended) and didn’t have time to obtain visas ourselves from a local consulate. Thus, we did our research and banked on the Visa On Arrival service offered by myanmarvisa.com. Although my research documented numerous positive reviews, this decision still worried me after we’d come up with the itinerary, and even on the day when we flew into the country having already paid for 90% of the trip.
Was this a scam? Did we just blow our money and vacation??? Thankfully, this service is totally legit and we made it in!
So why did we worry? Myanmar is open and embracing tourists, but information on the nation’s immigration services was still sketchy and hard to decipher. It was especially confusing since the government was advertising that they *will* offer Visa On Arrival services, but are not yet doing so.
Maybe the government isn’t yet offering its own Visa On Arrival service, but myanmarvisa.com is one company that *is* and the government has a Visa On Arrival counter at the airport to process them when you arrive.
Detail-wise, we purchased the expedited service (probably not necessary) from myanmarvisa.com for $95 each. Our paperwork was processed very quickly and included good instructions. Upon arriving at the airport in Myanmar, we provided the paperwork and were pleased to see forms with our pictures waiting for us on the desk.
The only problem we experienced was that a tour group of 20 Germans beat us into the processing line as we dawdled about slightly confused. Add 30 minutes of queue time to our experience… But we now had visa stickers in our passports for the Republic of the Union of Myanmar!
So, please do use myanmarvisa.com for their Visa On Arrival service, and beat the Germans into the line!