Apr 23 2011

Getting a visa to Burma in Bangkok

Published by at 11:19 am under Visas


Updated March 15, 2014 with updated 2014 public holidays: Getting a visa for Burma (Myanmar) in Bangkok can seem difficult as there is a lot of conflicting information out there, but the process isn’t quite as hard as some would have you believe. Getting the visa is fairly straightforward, but making sure that you have all of the necessary documents available is important.

The current national flag

The current national flag

As of the date of posting, the visa-on-arrival for tourists program has been suspended so getting a visa before departure is required. The officially required documents to get a visa are:

A passport with six months of validity
Two passport-sized photos
A completed visa application
A completed employment history
A minimum of 810 baht
A photocopy of your passport

Processing takes two business days (i.e. submit forms on Monday morning, visa is ready for pick up Wednesday afternoon). A same-day visa is available; proof is required in the form of airline tickets departing within 48 hours and costs 1,260 baht and a next day service is available for 1,035 baht.

Arrive at the visa office early as only so many visas are processed each day and you need to get a number. The visa office opens 9:00–12:00 and 15:30–16:30. Upon arrival, line up for the form (not available online) and immediately fill it out. The employment history is on the rear side of the form and is designed to weed out possible aid workers or journalists entering on a tourist visa; if you are an aid worker or a journalist (or have things in your employment history that might suggest that you once were or possibly will be) you might want to consider some creative revision of your past. Your correspondent has enjoyed a long career as a carpenter and brewer. Return to the window for a number – applicants are only given a number when your application is complete. Wait until your number is called, and then proceed to be interviewed and pay the visa fee.

Most applicants are not asked any serious questions in the interview (it happens at the window, not in a locked room in the basement) but might be required to confirm departure dates or airline tickets – bring copies of your itinerary. Applicants are given a receipt with a date stamped on it. Return to the embassy on the day indicated and pick up your visa, process complete.

If you are after an express visa, you must have a printed out copy of your flight ticket. A screenshot on your iPhone is not acceptable.

Embassy of Myanmar (Burma) in Bangkok
132 Sathorn Nua Rd Bangkok
Visa office open 09:00–12:00 and 15:30–16:30, Mon-Fri

The Embassy of Myanmar enjoys many public holidays (as we learned at great expense… twice). Below are public holidays that were listed on the wall for the remainder of 2014:

Thursday 27 March 2014
Monday 14 April 2014
Tuesday 15 April 2014
Wednesday 16 April 2014
Thursday 17 April 2014
Thursday 1 May 2014
Monday 5 May 2014
Friday 9 May 2014
Tuesday 13 May 2014
Friday 11 July 2014
Tuesday 12 August 2014
Wednesday 8 October 2014
Thursday 23 October 2014
Thursday 6 November 2014
Friday 5 December 2014
Wednesday 10 December 2014
Thursday 25 December 2014
Wednesday 31 December 2014

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26 Responses to “Getting a visa to Burma in Bangkok” ...

  1. Arne Walderhaugon 27 Apr 2011 at 12:16 pm

    On my last visit to Myanmar in Dec 2006/January 2007 I had an agent in Sikhumvit do this for me, it cost me 2,000 baht, but it was all done in 24 hours. Isn’t this possible any more?

  2. Brockon 27 Apr 2011 at 1:46 pm

    It is possible- just make sure the agent gives you the work history to fill out as well or your application will be rejected.

  3. Maria Katrinaon 07 Dec 2011 at 9:55 am

    I am going to Bangkok a week before my friend. Is it possible for me to get visas to Myanmar for both of us, if I have a copy of his passport, passport photos, and work history – or does he have to be there also? Both ways, embassy or agency, are fine to me.

  4. Brockon 08 Dec 2011 at 2:23 pm

    It’s not possible with out the actual passport in hand. Copies are not accepted.

  5. lauraon 14 Dec 2011 at 10:56 pm

    So if a friend took my passport would it be possible?

  6. MickeyBon 20 Apr 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Based on a visit to the Embassy today, they appear to have changed their hours so that Applications are mornings only (0900 – 1200) and Visa pick up is afternoon only (1530 to 1630).

  7. Uschion 21 Apr 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Went to embassy April 20, 2012 – opening hours posted on door – 9:00am to 12:00pm visa application and 3:30pm-4:30 pm visa pick-up. Monday to Friday.

  8. Planning a Trip to Burma/Myanmaron 01 May 2012 at 10:01 pm

    […] Bangkok. It costs 810 baht and takes 48 hours (or you can pay 1250 baht for a same day visa). See Travelfish for details on how to apply. We haven’t heard of anyone being refused a visa but in the work […]

  9. Sophieon 25 May 2012 at 6:33 pm

    It’s easy:

    1/ Go to the embassy
    2/ Get the two sided application form from window 4. 1 side is the application, the second side is your employment history.
    3/ Complete the form and go back to window 4 for a ticket number. You also need two passport photos and a copy of your passport (and obviously your passport).
    4/ Wait until your number is called, and then hand in your documents, pay THB810 (or more if you want a same day visa, but you must have proof of travel)
    5/ Return to window 4 when they tell you the visa will be ready. Usually 2 working days.

    Done…!

  10. Ruth Pon 24 Sep 2012 at 12:24 am

    There are a lot of rumours about getting a Myanmar visa in Bangkok, and a lot of uncertainty, so here’s my experience:

    Applying for the visa:

    They take applications for visas from 9am-midday. Check that it’s not a Burmese or Thai holiday.

    We arrived at the embassy at around 10 am (it’s easy to walk to from Surasak BTS). We ignored everyone saying to arrive 2 hours before opening time. Our thinking was, if everyone is doing that the queue will be worse early, and we had an extra day so were able to go get the visa the next day if things didn’t work out.

    When we arrived we saw there was zero queue, so we went straight to the copy shop down the road to get our passport copies (you can also get photos there) and filled in the forms. Didn’t put anything remotely suspicious (like writer) in the work history.

    Went back, got the number from counter 4 to join the queue. Our number was called in another 2 minutes, paid the fee and we were done.

    NOTE: We still don’t know if this rumour of them limiting visas each day is true, in which case the advice to turn up early does still apply. We saw no sign of it though, and we’d recommend to turn up later like we did as long as you have a backup and could go again the next day if necessary. Also note it’s the end of September, not high season yet.

    Collecting the visa:

    You only get a 1 hour window to collect the visa – 3.30pm-4.30pm (weekdays) 2 days later, 1 day later, or same day depending on what you pay for.

    We went 2 days later. We got there about 3.00pm and there was a queue going down the road, and the visa office doors weren’t open yet. They opened bang on 3.30pm and were SO fast to process everyone’s visas when we went in.

    Even though we were quite a way down the queue, we had our visa in 5 minutes. Just make sure to queue at the correct counter, as indicated on your receipt.

    Hope this helps someone!

  11. salimon 16 Nov 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I was relieved to read all the above indicating that it is no big deal to get the visa from Bangkok. Just one a couple of questions if anybody can provide:

    1. Is there a specific form for employment history?
    2. Do retired persons have to indicate employment history?

    Thanks for your answers.

  12. Dixieon 24 Dec 2012 at 2:42 am

    Regards to the employment history, do we need a letter from our employers?

  13. PaulBon 10 Jan 2013 at 6:46 am

    Make sure the background in your passort photos are perfectly white! I had off white and they made me do it again, which was being really picky. A small shop down the road makes it’s living from photocopying/photos etc that people getting Burmese visas use throughout the day

  14. sebastianon 03 Mar 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Do i need an airline ticket when i apply for the visa? If i don’t know if and how quick i will get the visa, i would not want to book a flight yet. That i would certainly do when i have received the visa. Do they except that idea?

  15. sebastianon 03 Mar 2013 at 7:51 pm

    One more thing: did i understand everything allright, is it possible to get a visa at the bangkok airport? Under what conditions? Where?
    Thank you for your help.

  16. Paddyon 10 Apr 2013 at 5:01 am

    Ruth’s directions are spot on. Just put my application in this morning (10 April 2013). I got there at about 8.30 and while there was a bit of a queue I was finished by 9.45.
    There were signs saying that the Embassy is closed all of next week 15 to 19 April 2013.
    Cheers

  17. Broxon 21 Apr 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I have the same question as Sebastion, do I need to get a plane ticket first before i can apply for a visa? Also when you get the visa how long do you have before you have to enter Burma as I am going to Chiangmai for a month before going to Burma.
    Thanks

  18. adminon 27 May 2013 at 12:09 pm

    You only need a photocopy of your air-ticket if you are applying for a same-day (express) visa.

    I got my visa today and it is valid for an entry up to 90-days from the date of issue.

  19. reginaon 27 May 2013 at 1:26 pm

    200 meters down from the embassy, there’s a little yellow sign that says photo and copy fax. Turn in right and a couple of doors down you’ll find the shop/cafe. Everything you need to complete your application is supplied, including the forms, completed example forms, glue, paper clips, photo copying- all for a few baht. They open around 7 am, so you can queue at the embassy early, with your paperwork already complete. When we applied (high season, early Feb. 13) there were about 10 people in front of us- and by 9 am about 100 people behind us. If your application is complete, you’ll be issued a number immediately. We waited less than 15 minutes to hand in ours, pay and walk happily away from the miserably long queue outside….

  20. FlyingGooseon 29 Jun 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I understand applications are mornings only (0900 – 1200) .
    I’ll be arriving at the Embassy at 11.30 . Is there a chance I’ll be refused ? Or will they help anyone arriving before noon ?

  21. adminon 30 Jun 2013 at 1:38 am

    @FlyingGoose – I’d assume as long as you are there before midday you should be ok.

    Cheers

  22. […] a myanmar visa in bangkok” or follow any of these wonderful instructions: 1, 2, 3, 4, and it will be fast, quick and easy. The only thing I’d say is that while there are loads of […]

  23. Vinzon 19 Jul 2013 at 7:59 am

    I did exactly that, arrive at 1135. No problem. Even had to go out to get pictures taken as i had 2 non identical ones. All done in10 mins

  24. Theodoraon 19 Oct 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Hello there,

    I want to get a visa to Myanmar from Bangkok but I don’t have a return ticket and departure date to go back to Europe.
    Do you think I’ll have a problem without an itinerary?

  25. adminon 20 Oct 2013 at 1:30 am

    Hi Theodora,

    They’re after a ticket out of Burma — not one out of Thailand. I’m not sure how this works now that you can leave the country overland though.

  26. Lindseyon 05 Feb 2014 at 6:11 am

    I have one question I hope someone can answer. I’m planning on travelling to Myanmar overland by Thailand. Do I need proof of entering, leaving, and accommodation for Myanmar?
    Thank you.

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