Mar 25 2011
With affordable flights to Rangoon (Yangon) courtesy of JetStar Airways, Singapore is second only to Thailand as a launching point for travels to Burma. And if you’re considering a visit to Burma now that Aung San Suu Kyi has given the nod to independent travellers visiting, Singapore is a good spot to get your visa, as it has a Burmese Embassy where you can apply for a four-week tourist visa.
Officially, this is what you need to apply for a visa if you are a “Foreign Independent Traveller” (i.e. not on a package tour):
- 2 completed visa application forms (you can download it here)
- 2 passport-sized photos
- a photocopy of the picture page in your passport
- a passport valid for at least 6 months
- S$35 fee payable in cash
Despite following these instructions perfectly (they’re also posted at the Embassy), I was turned away on my first attempt to get a visa. I was told that, as a tourist from a Western country, I also had to provide the following:
- a letter stating the purpose of my trip and where in Burma I would visit
- proof of my occupation (a business card would suffice)
- a copy of my flight itinerary
This may sound a bit extreme, but remember that the issuance of tourist visas is entirely at their discretion so there is no use debating the visa requirements with the embassy staff. After returning with the additional information my application was accepted.
Visa application hours are from 9:30 – 12:30 Monday to Friday. Visas take 3 or 4 working days to process and can be collected 15:00 – 17:00. It’s also possible to apply for a business visa or a social visit visa (for visiting family or a spouse in Burma). Full details can be found on the official website.
The Embassy of the Union of Myanmar is located at 15 St. Martin’s Drive, within walking distance of Orchard Road MRT station. Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 17:00. Questions can be directed to (65) 6735 0209 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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