According to a news report from Xinhua News Agency, Myanmar (Burma) is planning to issue visa on arrival service to foreign visitors in order to promote the country’s tourism industry. Diamond Palace and Travel and Tour Co. Ltd has got permmission to apply online visa on arrival for its customers. According to the Foreign Office of Myanmar, it takes two to five days for the foreign visitors to get their visa to enter Myanmar currently. The introduction of the visa on arrival system will, hopefully, shorten the processing time and revive the coutry’s ailing tourism industry, according to the foreign ministry source.
However, what the news report failed to clarify is that the new online visa system is not actually a real visa on arrival. It is simply a way for the tour companies to apply for the pre-approved visa online on behalf of their customers. The customers still need to apply the visa in advanced, through the tour companies. They are expected to apply 15 days in advanced! They will be issued an electronic document that shows their visa approval. Then, they can stamp the visa at the Yangon International Airport.
In my opinion, the new system does not actually shorten the time. It only allows the foreign tourists to apply only without spending time at the Burmese embassy. And I really don’t think it will improve and revive the toursim industry. This is not a true visa on arrival. It is simply an online application for Myanmar visa.