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October 16, 2018

Visa-free travel for Japan, ROK tourists, visa on arrival for PRC tourists from 1 October

Tourists guided by a tour leader near Tachilek border tour gate.  Photo: Supplied

The Directorate of Hotels and Tourism Deputy Director General Daw Khin Than Win said starting from 1 October, tourists from Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) can enjoy visa-free travel to Myanmar, while tourists from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will be granted a visa on arrival.
“The arrangement is to grant visa on arrival to tourists from China and visa-free travel to tourists from Japan and South Korea. At the moment, international tourist arrivals have declined, especially those from the west, and this relaxation in visas for Asian countries was done in the hope of getting more tourists from this side,” she said.
She said this at a meeting to discuss the visa issue and ways to increase the member of tourists, held in Inya Lake Hotel, Yangon, on 28 July.
“Chinese citizens, including those from Macau and Hong Kong, will be granted visa on arrival starting from 1 October. A stay of 30 days will be allowed. The visitor must hold an ordinary passport. On entry, visitors will have to show US$1,000 and a return ticket with them,” said Daw Khin Than Win.
She added, “Another thing is visa-free travel for Japan and South Korea. They will be granted visa-free travel for a trial period from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019.
They can enter through Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports, as well as international seeports, border, entry/exit gates on the Myanmar-Thailand border, such as Myawady, Kawthoung, Hteekee and Tachilek. They can exit from international airports, seeports and border entry/exit gates.”
For visa on arrival for Chinese citizens (including those from Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions), they will have to hold ordinary passports and a visa on arrival fee of US$50. Only tourist visas will be permitted and on arrival at the international airports, they will have to show $1,000 and a return ticket. No extension of stay will be permitted, it is learnt. They can exit from any international airport.
Similarly, for Japanese and South Korean tourists, the visa-free service is for tourist visas only and for ordinary passport holders.
Package Tour and Foreign Free Independent Travellers will be granted visa-free service and on entry at international airports, seeport, and land exit/entry gates, they will have to show $1,000. A return ticket is also required and no extension of stay is permitted and the exit can be from any international airports, seeport, and land exit/entry gates.
Discussions were held with the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population on these visa matters, while CB Bank is making arrangements for the $1,000 Show Money and collection of $50 visa fee.
U Zeya Aung of CB Bank said, “We are taking responsibility for receiving payments by cards. We’ve progressed quite far. Using international cards will make it easy to receive/make payments and it wouldn’t be necessary to bring in much cash. International tourists normally hold a Visa or Master Card. For them, it would be easy. There wouldn’t be a problem of counterfeit notes or of not carrying the sufficient amount.”
These arrangements are being made to support the development of the Myanmar travel sector, increase the number of international tourists and for the ease of entry/exit of international tourists. — Zaw Gyi

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