Jun 09 2013

Overstaying your tourist visa in Burma/Myanmar

Published by at 12:15 pm under Visas

If you’ve overstayed your tourist visa by a few days in Burma/Myanmar, it’s not too much of a drama. Besides having to pay a fine of US$3 per overstayed day, the only real punishment for staying beyond your 28-day tourist visa date stamp is sacrificing a whole page of your passport for an extra ugly black stamp that says you extended your stay.

Immigration overstay stamp

Immigration overstay stamp

After 30 days the daily fine goes up — but we haven’t yet pushed the envelope that far to find out what the amount becomes, and we probably wouldn’t recommend it to you, either.

If you’ve overstayed and you’re departing from Yangon International Airport, after checking in and getting your boarding pass on the first floor, follow the immigration signs up the stairs to the second floor. You’ll be confronted with a gathering of passengers waiting to approach the staggered line of tall desks, where it takes twice as long as you would think it should to take your photo and whack a departure stamp in your passport. Do not bother with this line! 

You’re special, so take a hard left towards the toilets. The signage for the office near here is almost as awkwardly placed as the office itself, which is more of an extra large broom closet that someone somehow managed to squeeze a few desks into.

Come early, as this will take longer than you think; there will most likely be a line. If you think the normal immigration desks take a while, the friendly officers taking your money here have to fill out extra, over-sized forms by hand on top of the normal ones. Be prepared to present your passport, a boarding pass and enough currency to pay the fine.

Visa Overstay stamps in Myanmar

Visa overstay stamps.

Authorities will ask for dollars, but you can pay in kyat — just don’t expect them to give you a decent exchange rate — US$36 for instance will equal 36,000 kyat. Once the officers have filled out the forms, they will stamp your passport, stamp your boarding pass and without a question bid you a friendly goodbye. Note that others have reported there is a $3 fine that is levied on top of the overstay fee, but that has not been our experience.

Head back out to those queues, and walk straight past them, and past the desks, and with a wave of your stamped boarding pass and a cheerful, “Mingalaba!”, past the security guards who will chuckle at your local language skills.

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Overstaying your tourist visa in Burma/Myanmar”

  1. Jennaon 23 Feb 2014 at 7:40 am

    Thanks for the useful post! We’re currently planning our trip to Myanmar. Although we aren’t planning to overstay the visa, we are hoping to exit overland at Tachilek, and are just doing some investigations about what happens if it takes longer to get there than we anticipate… does anyone know whether it’s possible to extend a visa at the land border, or can this only happen in the airports?



  2. Julienon 09 Aug 2014 at 3:01 am

    Excelent post, very helpfull thank you very much. Same problem as for Jenna, I will leave Myanmar overland to India (Tamu border) and I will be at least 5 or 10 days late on the 28-days-visa. What happen when one arrive at the border with an expired visa ? Is it still possible to pay the fine to the officers and leave the country legally ? If anybody knows, thank you so much for help…..

  3. Christopher Smithon 16 Sep 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Hello Julien! You can still pay the overstay fee at land crossings – should be no trouble. We’ve only heard of issues at the land-crossings stemming from different types of visas, such as business/multiple entry visas. Here’s a link to our breakdown on the visas: http://www.travelfish.org/visas/burma_myanmar. Happy travels!

  4. Christopher Smithon 16 Sep 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Jenna! If you’re planning to exit out of Tachilek, do keep in mind that you cannot reach that area via land due to restricted area. You can fly there via domestic airlines. If it takes longer then you expect, I would not count on extending your visa at the land crossing, but you can just pay an overstay fee of US$3 per/day. Do watch out that most guesthouses will not let you stay if you are over your visa. Here’s our breakdown on Burma’s visas: http://www.travelfish.org/visas/burma_myanmar

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