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Burma forum

Visa to Burma from London

Posted by Joanna_S on 10/12/2012 at 06:40

I sent my and my sister's visa application to the Burmese embassy in London two weeks ago (10 working days) and still haven't heard from them. I checked the royal mail tracking system and it seems like nothing has been sent yet.
I tried to call the embassy today, but there was no answer and their voice mails are full, so you can't even leave a message.
I'm getting a bit anxious now. Is this normal that it takes so long?

#1 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by steviej on 10/12/2012 at 12:01

Hi Joanna,

In a nut shell YES.

From other sources (LP/TripAdvisor), it's been taking up to 4 weeks for the Passports to return.

Unless you're due to go in the next couple of weeks don't panic...........too much ;-)

#2 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Joanna_S on 15/12/2012 at 11:38

It's been almost 3 weeks now...and I'm going away on 21/12. With post working as they do, I'm really worried now. I emailed them and they got back to me with a very unhelpful email, saying that 'my turn will be soon'.
Should I go there and inquiry in person?
no on picks up phones there....What should i do??

#3 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by mareeS on 16/12/2012 at 06:13

This is standard operating procedure for Burmese embassies. We are travelling tomorrow (Dec 17), sent our passports and visa applications to the embassy in Canberra, Australia, on October 18 and received them back two weeks ago (6 weeks of processing). During that period we were unable to get a telephone call or email answered despite repeated attempts, and this seems to be the case with Myanmar embassies everywhere.

We resorted to contacting our national Department of Foreign Affairs, as we needed our passports urgently for a flight to assist one of our sons who had been injured in Thailand (another story). DFAT told me the backlog of visa applications at Myanmar's Canberra embassy was more than 1600 from a smallish population such as Australia, due to recent travel demand.

The visas do apparently get out a couple of weeks ahead of the departure date, but the processing is also complicated by the fact the Myanmar repulic won't issue tourist visas more than 90 days ahead of departure, and they're only good for 28 days from date of arrival in Myanmar.

It's all very bureaucratic. Good luck.

#4 mareeS has been a member since 8/12/2012. Posts: 13

Posted by mareeS on 16/12/2012 at 06:14

This is standard operating procedure for Burmese embassies. We are travelling tomorrow (Dec 17), sent our passports and visa applications to the embassy in Canberra, Australia, on October 18 and received them back two weeks ago (6 weeks of processing). During that period we were unable to get a telephone call or email answered despite repeated attempts, and this seems to be the case with Myanmar embassies everywhere.

We resorted to contacting our national Department of Foreign Affairs, as we needed our passports urgently for a flight to assist one of our sons who had been injured in Thailand (another story). DFAT told me the backlog of visa applications at Myanmar's Canberra embassy was more than 1600 from a smallish population such as Australia, due to recent travel demand.

The visas do apparently get out a couple of weeks ahead of the departure date, but the processing is also complicated by the fact the Myanmar republic won't issue tourist visas more than 90 days ahead of departure, and they're only good for 28 days from date of arrival in Myanmar.

It's all very bureaucratic. Good luck.

#5 mareeS has been a member since 8/12/2012. Posts: 13

Posted by Joanna_S on 16/12/2012 at 06:53

6 weeks? oh my dear god!! I'm going there on Tuesday. I'm giving them one more day and that's it. I'll contact Home Office if needed.
Thanks for the helpful reply.

#6 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by steviej on 16/12/2012 at 09:36

Hi Joanna,

Jeez, they're cutting it mighty fine. I take it there's no update on Royal Mail Tracking then?

Fingers crossed...........!!

#7 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Joanna_S on 17/12/2012 at 04:02

No, nothing on the Royal Mail....If I don't get it this week, I'm going to go there and beg for my passport back - with or without the visa.

#8 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by steviej on 17/12/2012 at 14:09

I've crossed my toes too.......!!

#9 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by steviej on 19/12/2012 at 09:03

Any news Joanna?

#10 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Joanna_S on 19/12/2012 at 09:10

Where should I start? :)
So, I went there yesterday. Because I'd already sent the papers etc, I could actually skip the queue. The lady then asked me about my name and she said that she thought she'd seen my passport somewhere, but wasn't sure. She said she was 90% sure that she'd sent it in the morning. OMG! I thought I'd fall down! They don't have a log of passports, nothing.
So, I came back and checked the royal mail and she actually had sent it.
The passport came in this morning. Unfortunately, I wasn't at home and my husband signed for it. He didn't open it (why would he?!) and just tried to feel through the envelope if there were 2 or 1 passports. he said he thinks that there was only 1. So, now I'm sitting at work, biting off my finger nails and trying not to stress.
One hour to go!

#11 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by steviej on 19/12/2012 at 09:39

Bloody'ell.

I'd get him to open it NOW to put you out of your misery.


Sent my application off last Friday and they received it on Monday morning. I don't go till February 4th so I think my fingernails should be safe. ;-)

#12 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Joanna_S on 19/12/2012 at 09:49

He's not at home, so I need to wait until I get in and check it myself.
It's not very clever of him not to open it and then inform me that there might be something missing inside! This will probably cause a small argument.
Anyway, you're lucky. You should get it on time.I heard they don't give out visas until the very last moment, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for you too.

#13 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by steviej on 19/12/2012 at 10:00

Well, whatever happens I hope you have a great time.

Take care.

#14 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Joanna_S on 19/12/2012 at 11:38

Thanks :)
So, I've got my passport, but my sister's passport is missing! Another visit to the embassy awaits tomorrow!

#15 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by steviej on 19/12/2012 at 12:02

It doesn't rain it POURS..................!!

Good luck tomorrow!!

Just thought, I've sent off two Passports too. I hope they (Embassy) don't do the same, as we're in Sunny Lancashire.

#16 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Joanna_S on 19/12/2012 at 12:06

Well, it depends.
I think I did a wrong thing, and assumed that they will keep both of the passports together.
Thing is that my sis lives in Poland and on the application form we put her address there. I put my London one on mine and we sent a return envelope with my contact details.
I think (and I really, really hope) that they just separated the two passports, matched mine with the envelope and didn't know where to send my sister's, so they're keeping it and waiting for her to turn up and collect it.

#17 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by steviej on 19/12/2012 at 14:44

MMMmmm,

I'd a thought they would of sent them back together too.

This problem, if there really is one, throws up all sorts of issues. Do you use Thorn Tree and/or TripAdvisor?

#18 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Joanna_S on 19/12/2012 at 14:46

Maybe I'm just unlucky...
I read TripAdvisor, but don't use it as a member. Why?

#19 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by steviej on 19/12/2012 at 15:22

Just thought it'd be helpful to others to know whats going on. If it's ok by you I could post something on the other sites (no names mentioned of course :-) ) so people are aware of some of the pitfalls as it were.

#20 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Joanna_S on 19/12/2012 at 15:25

Good idea! Yes, you can.
I'll let you know how tomorrow goes.
Fingers crossed it will be fine.

#21 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by steviej on 19/12/2012 at 16:42

Great stuff. I'll wait till you get sorted tomorrow before i post anything anywhere else.

#22 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Joanna_S on 20/12/2012 at 04:57

Ok, so I got it back! Finally, the drama is over!
By the way, if you ever want to steal someone's identity, go to the Burmese embassy. They give passports away.
I explained to the guy why I was there and he gave me my sister's passport back without any further questions. Nothing!It's quite scary!

#23 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by steviej on 20/12/2012 at 09:01

Wow, that is scary. And there's nothing like keeping you on your toes. Just hope they send back the two passports I sent in the same SAE envelope I supplied.

Have a great trip.

#24 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Joanna_S on 20/12/2012 at 09:16

Thank you! I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

#25 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by steviej on 6/1/2013 at 06:06

Well, I received our Passports yesterday and they were stapled together, it took 19 days in total which isn't bad considering the time of year. Incidently, somebody else on another forum received two Passports the same way (stapled) so it may be a new initiative.

#26 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Lost_Vagabond on 9/1/2013 at 16:38

Wow what a tense post!

Is the visa valid for 3 months from date of issue? I'm going in May but getting to South East Asia 27th March and going through Vietnam & Cambodia first then planning on flying from Siem Reap. So im not sure If i should get the visa here first or get it in Phnom Penh which I've read is possible to do but would prefer to do here (London) if possible.

Have a great trip!

#27 Lost_Vagabond has been a member since 31/10/2012. Posts: 8

Posted by steviej on 9/1/2013 at 17:12

Hi,

Yes, it's three months from date of issue BUT that's based on arriving within that time scale.
For example, our Visas are valid until the 1st April, if we were to turn up on the 31st March we would still get our 28 days.

#28 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by ilariaopaque on 9/1/2013 at 17:51

I read on different websites (like Mizzima) that in the last months Myanmar/Burma issued visa on arrival at the airport... does anybody know if it's true or not? If anybody had the experience to enter the country getting a visa on arrival or found an official communication, please share the news! Thank you.

#29 ilariaopaque has been a member since 9/1/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by Lost_Vagabond on 9/1/2013 at 18:08

Ok,

So I would have to get my visa timing right If i wanted it to get there before it running out in 3 months.

#30 Lost_Vagabond has been a member since 31/10/2012. Posts: 8

Posted by steviej on 10/1/2013 at 10:52

Hi ilariaopaque,
No VOA for tourists. Websites that 'advertise' VOA are actually pre-arranging a Visa for you for a hefty fee. Your better off sorting it out yourself.

Lost vagabond, yes, timing is of the essence, but you'd have plenty of time. If you got your Visa stamp on the 25th March (for example) you'd have till the 25th June to enter Burma before the Visa Stamp expired.

#31 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by Joanna_S on 11/1/2013 at 04:32

There are no voa for Burma. It's cheaper to do it yourself. If you stop in Bangkok, or somewhere in Asia, where there is a Burmese embassy, apply there. If you apply in London, then leave plenty of time.

#32 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by ilariaopaque on 11/1/2013 at 05:24

Thank you for the replies! Articles on Newspapers confused me. I already had a positive experience at the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok, so I will repeat it.

#33 ilariaopaque has been a member since 9/1/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by philcox99 on 30/11/2013 at 10:49

I am travelling to Burma in March 2014. Does anyone know what the latest turnaround time is if I send my application to the embassy at the beginning of January? I need my passport for a trip to Italy on 15 Feb!

#34 philcox99 has been a member since 30/11/2013. Posts: 3

Posted by Joanna_S on 30/11/2013 at 16:54

I have no idea but I would send it straight after new years.

#35 Joanna_S has been a member since 1/3/2012. Posts: 28

Posted by antoniamitchell on 9/4/2014 at 06:52

Hi everyone,

Just an update on current turnaround times for the Burma embassy in London in LOW SEASON. I sent off my application on Saturday 5 April, and my passport with visa arrived back today, on Wednesday 9 April.

The volume of applications they are processing now is bound to be much lower than it will be in the run up to the winter high season, so you'll undoubtedly have to wait longer if you apply in November/December.

Overall, I was impressed at such a quick turnaround.

#36 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Location: Singapore. Posts: 476
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