Myanmar e-visa available Monday

Myanmar on Monday will again start accepting visa applications online and promises to process them within five days.

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Myanmar's Ministry of Immigration and Population website said the e-visa service will go online at 6am Sept 1, offering tourists visas with a maximum stay of 28 days.

Visas costs $50 and are payable by via electronic card. The charge is about double of 810 baht fee charged by the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok for normal service and slightly less expensive than the embassy charges for expedited service.

Somcahi Hatayatanti, governor of Tak province, said the system would bring more convenient to Thais wanting to visit Myanmar for either business or pleasure.

He said the launch of a new e-visa system was one step toward creation of the Mae Sod special economic zone before Asean members implement the Asean Economic Community in 2015.

Five Southeast Asian countries get visa waivers: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam. Thailand is among 41 countries which initially are allowed to apply for the online visa.

Myanmar briefly offered online visas in 2010-11, but suspended the program in favour of in-person applications at embassies and consulates.

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