I found several web pages that talked about getting a visa to Myanmar, but they were for in Bangkok and the process there is a little different, so I thought I’d make my own ‘how to’ blog about it since I live in Kuala Lumpur
WHAT YOU NEED
- Application – if you don’t get one online, you can fill one out there
- Two passport photos – they are very specific about the size and the background being white, so get your photos from a professional passport photo shop and glue one to your application (you might want to paperclip it until you get there in case you have the wrong application)
- A copy of your passport data page
- Your passport – paper clip the other photo to the front of your passport (yes, they will keep your passport)
- RM110 per visa (current as of January 2013)
- Copy of your plane tickets – I wasn’t asked for mine, but if you have them, it wouldn’t hurt to bring copies
APPLYING FOR MYANMAR VISA
Walk through the opening in the wall and go straight ahead. There will be a canopy right in front of you. Just beyond the canopy is a table with chairs by it and a glass window behind it. You may not be able to see all of that because there will be a line of people. That glass window is where you turn in your visa application. Above the window is a small red sign that indicates it is the visa section. There are actually two lines at this point, though they can be hard to distinguish if there are a lot of people. The line on the right is for business/other visas and the line on the left is for tourist visas.
When you get up to the window just hand the person all of your papers and your extra photo. It may take them a moment to stop doing what they are doing and look at your papers. If they hand you an application, it is because the one you brought with you is an old form or does not have all the information on it. Ask why they are having you fill out a new form. If you have to fill out a new form, just step to the side and let other people get processed. Once you are done, you should be able to go after the person who is already in the window. That’s what happened when I was there.
When you are back up at the window, be sure to hand the processor all of your documents and passports for all the visas you are requesting at once. If your photo isn’t already attached to the application, there is a little tube of glue on the counter. Use that to attach your photo to your application. Once the processor has finished checking and stamping your documents, he or she will fill out a receipt and ask for your money. You need to pay in Malaysian Ringgit. As of today, it is RM110 per visa. Once you have paid, the processor will give you your receipt and tell you to come back the next day between 4:00-5:00. You are now finished and can leave.
If you don’t already have a vehicle waiting for you, the LRT station is about a 10-15 minute walk away. The directions to the LRT station are:
- Take a left out of the embassy and walk to Ampang Tengah
- Turn left on Ampang Tengah until you get to the end of the street (there will be a Maybank on your right)
- Cross the street and continue to the right, taking the first left
- Continue on that street until you go under an overpass
- Just past the overpass is a little dirt path on your left – go down that street
- At the end of the dirt path is the parking lot for the LRT station
When I left the embassy, I turned to the right and was lucky enough to find a taxi sitting at the end of the street. He charged me RM20 to take me back to KL Sentral.
This is a picture of the application they had me fill out. As of today, if your application is not this one, they will make you fill out a new one.
PICKING UP YOUR VISA
When you go to pick up your visa, make sure you show up early and are prepared to wait. We arrived at 3:50 and there was already a fairly long line. When 4:00 came around, the lines didn’t move. Nobody showed up at the counter until about 4:05 and didn’t start helping people until about 4:10. There was only one person, so it took about the same amount of time it took when I went in to apply.
To pick up your visa, all you do is go to the exact same place you went to apply for your visa. Wait in line and when you get up to the window, give them your receipt. They will look through the stack of passports and give you yours. If you are picking up more than one, go through them to make sure you have them all and that they have been stamped with the visa before you leave the counter. Once you have your passport(s) back, you are all done.
- Arrive early. I got there a little before 10:00 and there were already a ton of people there.
- Wear comfortable shoes. I was in line for a little over an hour and was standing almost the entire time.
- Bring a bottle of water. It is warm and a little stifling underneath the canopy.
- Bring something to entertain yourself. It gets a little boring standing in line for so long.
- Keep an eye on your personal belonging. Nobody stole anything while I was there, but with so many people crammed together, you never know if it will happen.
- Bring your documents in a folder or something to keep your information private. The guy behind me made no secret of trying to look over my documents when I pulled them out of my folder to double-check that I had everything.
- Bring a pen. I had to fill out a new application because the form had changed and the only there pen belonged to the lady behind the counter.
- Don’t bring your kids. Seriously. They will be bored and most likely start acting up.
- Smoke before you come. There were tons of people smoking there and it was so hard to breath sometimes. It made me feel so sick. Please be considerate of other people and smoke before you arrive.
- Bring a snack. Some people were there longer than I was. Bring something small in case you get hungry while you are there.
- Be polite. Everyone there is going through the same thing. If someone bumps into you (happens quite a lot), just smile and don’t say anything. If you bump into someone, just smile and apologize.
For some helpful travel tips for while in Myanmar, click HERE.