Travel Tales

How to get a Myanmar tourist visa

Note: As of January 4, Filipino with ordinary passports can enter Myanmar without a visa for up to 14 days. [source 1, source 2]ย Do go; it’s such a beautiful place. ๐Ÿ™‚

There are many sites which can tell you how to get your Myanmar tourist visa here in the Philippines — I personally found my guide at Just Wandering and En Routeย — but when I was applying for mine, I found (through Joey) that there were other requirements which I hadn’t expected. So here, I’m going to give you the latest on what you need to do and what you ought to expect.

To apply for a Myanmar tourist visa (as of April 2013), you need the following:

  1. signed application form (from the embassy)
  2. your passport (must not expire within six months before traveling)
  3. a passport-sized ID picture taken against a white background (ladies, remember to remove your earrings and tuck your hair behind your ears)
  4. a CD with a file of your ID picture
  5. a photocopy of the front page of your passport
  6. a photocopy of a valid ID
  7. a copy of your itinerary, which must include your flight details and accommodations
  8. PhP 1100 or USD 25

You need to go to the 8th floor of Gervasia Corporation Center, 152 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City. Office hours are 9:30 to 4:00 PM with a break from 12 noon to 1 PM, but they process visas until 2 PM only.

Now I, being a cheapskate even in the middle of summer, went there via public transport. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take the MRT. Get off at the Magallanes Station.
  2. Take one of the jeepneys going to PRC, Waltermart, or Don Bosco.
  3. Go down at Makati Cinema Square. (It’s past Waltermart, and it’s when you see Shakey’s to your right.)
  4. Pass through MCS and exit to Amorsolo St. (If MCS is still closed, you may pass through any of the small streets.)
  5. Cross Amorsolo St. (use the pedestrian pass)
  6. Go to the Gervacio Bldg. which is a bit to the right of the pedestrian lane. It’s the building with a spa and massage center on the ground floor.
  7. Leave your ID to the guard and go to the eighth floor.

What I did was to wait for 10 AM to get my picture taken at Kodak in Makati CInema Square. This was a bad move — I had to wait till 12 noon to get my pictures (something to do with the printing machine taking a while to fire up — go figure). And then when I went back to the embassy, I was told to wait till 1 PM because of their lunch break. (I hadn’t known prior to this that there was a lunch break.) So in short, I was late for work, but thank God for the patience He has granted this teacher.

The actual process takes something like 15 minutes if everything is in order. They get your requirements (including passport) and you are given a receipt telling you when to come back to claim your visas.

I got my visa three days after applying. I think they were rushing several visas because they were going to be closed on the week of the Myanmar New Year. In any case, when I showed up at exactly 2 PM on the day I’m supposed to get my visa, I had to wait for 3 hours and 45 minutes to finally get my passport back. Again, thank You, God, for patience. And thank you, Candy Crush.

Here are some more reminders:

I read in other blog sites (see links above) that if your work is related to the media, they might not grant you a visa.

Also, since my soon-to-be-trip companions and I applied for our visas on different days, we got some conflicting info regarding payment. I was able to pay in pesos, but one of my companions was compelled to pay in dollars (which he didn’t have at that moment). I think that you might even be asked to pay the dollars in a bank (the details are posted in the embassy). Be ready for either case.

Also, there’s a procedure on how to get a visa on arrival. But I chose to get mine here in the Philippines as it’s cheaper ($25 against $40).

I was pretty surprised to learn that most of those who were in the embassy applying (or renewing) their visas on the day I was there were OFWs to Myanmar. I had a very brief chat with one; when I asked him what his work was, he said that it was a secret. Hmmm.

I just have to say this — I’m excited as heck to go.

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4 thoughts on “How to get a Myanmar tourist visa

  1. Congrats on getting your visa! Myanmar, I hear is slowly changing since the country has opened. Now’s a good time to go before it completely changes!

  2. Hi! Thanks for the info. I find it useful. ๐Ÿ™‚

    So I don’t need to bring a bank account statement or certificate of employment? As for the itinerary, do they need a copy of my tickets? I can print them out easily naman. Do they also need hotel reservations? I haven’t booked anything yet, plan ko sa August pa but I’m applying for a visa this July 2 na. How about the itinerary? How detailed should it be?

    1. Hi! There’s no need for a bank account statement, certificate of employment, reservations, or tickets. I just put the flight details (flight no., entry/exit ports, etc.), hotels and addresses, and the cities I was going to in my itinerary. ๐Ÿ™‚

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