March 25th 2014 will mark the end of my One Year Working Holiday Visa in Australia. It has been an incredible year with many ups and downs, but even though my time is up I am excited to get travelling again. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit almost all the countries in South East Asia over the past few years. This is all bar East Timor, The Philippines and Myanmar. As I am short on time due to future travel plans I have decided take Myanmar off the hit list.
Getting the Visa
I’ve heard many rumours when it comes to applying for a Myanmar visa. Such as ‘You must have all your flights booked‘, ‘pre paid for all your accommodation‘, ‘it takes months to be granted!‘ and so on. All of this is false! I applied for my visa at The Embassy of the Republic of the Union Of Myanmar in Canberra (by post). My main worry was that they say to allow 4 weeks to process the application. Me and my super planning skills had left less than 3 weeks before a flight to Bangkok.
I called up the embassy to check that I’d not left it to late. I spoke to a woman named Sarah who was incredible nonchalant about the whole application process. Sarah told me not to worry about the lack of time just to get it posted as soon as possible. I was told all I needed was ;
To print out and complete the visa application form off the website
2x Passport Photos
$35 AUD in cash
A return envelope addressed back to me
A short letter outlining my entry and departure dates
Sarah said that when applying for the visa here in Australia there is no need to have any flights or accommodation booked, they just need to know the rough dates. In total it took no more than an hour to get all this together from scratch.
My Short Letter Outlining my Entry and Departure Dates
To: Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
I have a flight booked from Sydney to Bangkok on the 25/03/2014 I intend to spend the night in Bangkok before flying to Yangoon (RGN). I plan to spend just over 3 weeks travelling around Myanmar before flying out of Mandaly (MDL) on the 23/04/2014.
My Letter To the Myanmar Embassy
And to dispel the final rumour about the time taken to process the visa. I sent my application off first class in the evening on 06/04/2014. It took less than a week to get back to me on 12/04/2014 with a shiny new Burma visa inside. Please don’t take this as ‘it only takes 6 days to get a Myanmar visa’ I’m sure I was just very lucky. If they are dealing with a high volume of applications I’m sure it can take up to a month.
The Embassy of the Republic of the Union Of Myanmar in Canberra
22 Arkana Street
Phone: + 61 2 62733811 and +61 2 62733751
Fax: +61 2 62733181
They are open between the hours of 9am to 4pm(Office)