As Myanmar or Burma, as some prefer to call it, is opening up, there is greater number of people visiting the country for business and leisure purposes. Most nationals need a visa and there is no way of doing it electronically (July 2012). They were going to launch an electronic visa, but the website that you are supposed to use is down.
Bangkok is a great place to apply for various visas. I have done two Chinese visas in Bangkok. Both were handled the very same day and the process was very straight forward. I wrote a piece about it. The number of countries, where one can apply for a visa to Myanmar, are limited due to lack of diplomatic representation.
As I was going to be in Bangkok for few days, I decided to do the visa process there. The embassy of the Union of the Myanmar is located close to the Surasak skytrain station. I was sleeping late on that day and missed the 9AM opening, and didn’t get there before 11:45AM that morning.
First, I went to one of the nearby copy shop that only business apparently is for people to print out their eticket receipt that is required for the same day visa, copying the info page of your passport, taking the two passport photos that are required for the visa, and place for you to sit down and fill out the required form. I did the all the above mentioned there and the fee was less than 300 THB (around $10).
Then, I walked to the visa section of the embassy. The big room was almost empty as the time was getting close to noon. I had to get a queue number from the first window to leave the passport for processing.
After I had sat down for couple of minutes, my number came up. Just gave them my visa application accompanied by the passport and the money. I did this on Wednesday and I had a flight coming up on Sunday to Yangon. The regular visa processing time was adequate for me.
I was then given a receipt and told to pick up the visa on Friday after 3:30PM.
On Friday I went to the embassy just after 3:30PM and there was quite a few other people picking up their visas as well, but the line was very fast.
What is required?
1. Filled application form
2. Two passport photos
3. Copy of airline ticket for expedited visa
4. Visa fee that is from around 810 to 1260 THB
1. Go to one of the copy shops nearby and have all your documentation ready.
2. No need to go immediately at 9AM unless you need the visa the same day.
3. You can pick up your visa from 3:30PM but I would suggest going maybe 20 minutes later when all the lines are gone.
4. If you are doing the same day visa, you can relax at the Coffee Alley coffee shop that is just outside of the metro station on the same side of the road as the embassy. They have free wireless WiFi there.
5. Remember that the embassy is closed on both Thai and Myanmar public holidays.