Last update: 11.03.2019
Support to Foreign researchers: information on visas
The information on this page are indicative and destined to help foreign researchers with visa obtention processes. As these procedures are not systematic, the information might not be accurate in all specific cases. If you went through an obtention or extension process different from those described below, please feel free to inform us.
There are 4 major types of visa, here are their main features :
- Tourist Visa : 28 days non extendable. It can be obtained online without any sort of invitation letter. It does not allow to be hosted on University premises (e.g. Mandalay University Guesthouse). It cannot be used to ask for research clearance letters from the Myanmar government (e.g. from the General Administration Department, the States and Regions, etc…), which can be required on various occasions if one needs to engage with the government for research purposes.
- Type M – Research/Meeting/Journalist/Entry/Social Visa:28 days extendable. It can be obtained at consulates and embassies abroad with an invitation letter from a professor (preferably a head of department) from the major universities (Yangon or Mandalay). It is usually granted to individuals who apply for a university visa for the first time. One can be hosted on campuses and conduct official research activities with this visa.
- Type B – Business Visa: 70 days extendable. It can be obtained online or in consulates and embassies abroad thanks to an invitation letter from a domestically registered company or NGO. One must produce an official invitation letter and a copy of the registration certificate of the NGO or company. One can be hosted on campuses and conduct official research activities with this visa.
- Type U – University Visa: 90 days extendable. The Holy Grail. It can be obtained after multiple applications at consulates and embassies abroad with invitation letters from a head of department and the rector of Mandalay or Yangon University. It is increasingly granted only to researchers who are willing to engage in academic support activities locally (e.g. teaching research methods to or conducting research jointly with local professors, lecturers and tutors), and whose home university has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a one of the two largest universities. One can obviously be hosted on campuses and conduct official research activities with this visa.
- Visa renewal (a.k.a. visa run to Bangkok): all the visas above can be renewed at the Bangkok embassy in a very short amount of time (as little as 1 day, depending on how much one is willing to pay). The embassy typically grants the same visa type than the previous one, provided one supplies the required paperwork.
- Visa extension: please note that this process can be extremely long (up to two months) and should therefore be started as soon as possible, if one’s visa type allows it. One’s referent professor must send a letter requesting a visa extension up to a determined date (undetermined extension will not be granted) for the applicant to the Ministry of Education. One must then wait until theMinistry approves the request and forwards the information to the Ministry of Immigration in Nay Pyi Daw. The MOI will eventually send an approval letter to its Yangon Office. If the approval letter comes after the expiry date of one’s currently valid visa, one has to pay overstay fees (3 USD per day). One must finally go to the Immigration Office in Yangon with the following items, and be prepared to spend a full day there:
- The approval letter, sent to one’s referent professor by the MOE, stating that the extension application has been approved up to the determined date.
- A recommendation letter from the professor confirming that one’s research activities require such an extension.
- A copy of both those letters.
- 7 ID photos.
- 4 copies of one’s passport: ID page + current Myanmar visa page + entry stamp page.
- 50 USD for 3 months extension with single entry, 100 USD for 6 months extension with single entry, 120 USD for 6 months with double entry, 200 USD for 6 months multiple entry, etc… One can only pay in cash with pristine USD bank notes.
Please note that e-mails are not a favored communication method in Myanmar. It can be very difficult to obtain anything prior to a first field trip and face-to-face meetings with local professors.
Support to Myanmar Students & Scholars
Myanmar Study Abroad – This website provides information about scholarships, universities, and recommended courses for students from Myanmar who aspire to study at a university abroad.
Research support in social sciences for junior researchers (Bachelor/Master Thesis, Research Proposal, Concept Note, Scholarship Application, etc…) – organized occasionnally in Mandalay.
Latest research support rounds organized in Mandalay:
- February 20th, 2018
- July 22nd to 31st, 2018
- December 3rd to 10th, 2018