Posted by loral on 22/10/2012 at 00:45
For Aussies, I am posting again because I finally made contact. It exists!
The long story as to why that is great news for me follows. After months of searching and finding many different visa sites, all with a degree of uncertainty and high charges, I finally discovered the official web-site for the Australian Embassy. It included downloadable application forms for visa and details for the procedure.
I discovered only today that the reason I had not found it before is that it only operates sporadically.. All you get today is:
>Bandwidth Limit Exceeded The server is temporarily unable to service yourrequest due to the site owner reaching his/herbandwidth limit. Please try again later.
I'll post the url for the site if and when it starts working again. But that day it worked. So I filled out the forms, attached my money order for $35, a couple of passport photos, a covering letter and my passport and sent it off registered mail with a return pre-paid envelope about three weeks ago.
A few days later I decided to ring them to check the likely processing time as I leave for Myanmar on the 12th November. I had allowed nearly six weeks. The phone was either permanently engaged or did not answer. I tried again every couple of days for the past few weeks. Finally, I decided it was a passport and cash scam and thought I'd never see my passport again.
As a last resort before contacting the cops I rang dfat today to see if anyone could confirm that there is actually a Myanmar Embassy in Canberra. The person I spoke to not only had no idea, but didn't seem interested. However they did pass on an additional phone number from their records to the one I had been ringing. So I rang it - and it worked.
Apparently my application was received two weeks ago and will be looked at in another week. it seems they are overworked because of the dramatic increase in applications. I am enormously relieved that at least I will get to see my passport again, hopefully in time to fly to Bangkok, and also hopefully with a visa so I can continue to Yangon.
tl;dr. The Australian Myanmar Embassy exists.
22 Arkana Street, Australia
+61-2-6273-3811 (never answers)
#1 loral has been a member since 3/8/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 12
Posted by roaddog on 23/11/2012 at 00:52
thanks so much for this post. I've spent the last probably 5 hours trying to research this, and also find out if it is actually possible to cross by land at the border (so damn confusing)
hope your trip goes well, be sure to update with your experiences
#2 roaddog has been a member since 23/11/2012. Posts: 1
Posted by mareeS on 8/12/2012 at 07:15
We received our visas and passports back from the Myanmar Canberra Embassy last week for travel on December 17, so the system does work. However, it's a nail-biting experience.
We downloaded the application forms in October, followed the instructions to the letter, mailed them off on October 18, and ... black hole. The phones are always engaged, they don't answer emails, it all gets a bit fraught, especially as we needed our passports back because our son got into a spot of health bother in Thailand the week before last and we thought we would have to do a rush trip.
I phoned DFAT to see if they could speed things up for our passports to be returned, and they were actually somewhat more helpful than I expected, by promising to "do something," but their best advice was to keep phoning.
As things happened, a very nice Australian lady at the Mynmar embassy answered on my 5th or 6th attempt at one or other of the numbers, riffled through what sounded like quite a stack of documents, said ours was waiting for approval that very afternoon (what a coincidence) and the passports and visas arrived in our letterbox the following day.
DFAT told me there are about 1600 visa applications awaiting approval at Burma's Canberra embassy, there's only a small staff, and the embassy is managing to get visas and passports back to travellers within 2 weeks of departure.
So, be patient, be nice, trust in the generals. They want your foreign currency in crisp new $US bills. Your visa and passport will get back to you with time to spare.
#3 mareeS has been a member since 8/12/2012. Posts: 13
Please login to add your reply