Nov 5, 2013

Visa-free Travel To Myanmar For Thailand

Thai government spokesman, Teerat Ratanasevi, says Thailand and Myanmar will sign an agreement on visa exemption between the two countries, this December,which will give citizens of the two countries a 14-day visa-free stay.

Mr Teerarat said the Cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft agreement on the visa exemption.
“The draft will now be presented to the premiers of the two countries to sign when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visits Myanmar this December.”
The Thai PM will visit Myanmar, 11 and 12 December, to participate in the SEA Games opening ceremony.
He added: “The draft agreement was submitted to the Cabinet for approval in line with Article 190 of the Constitution, but does not have to be approved by Parliament.”
Under ASEAN membership rules all 10 countries are supposed to allow visa-free travel for the group’s citizens. Myanmar is the last of the member countries to comply with the rule.
However, ASEAN rules are based on voluntary participation and in the case of visa-free travel, bilateral agreements need to be ratified first that comply with national immigration laws.
Once the bilateral accord is signed the visa exemption will apply to departures and arrivals at 23 airports in Thailand.
The airports are: Suvarnabhumi; Don Mueang; Chiang Mai; Chiang Rai; Hat Yai; Phuket; Nan; Phitsanulok; Mae Sot; Mae Hong Son; Khon Kaen; Nakhon Ratchasima; Udon Thani; Ubon Ratchathani; Krabi; Trang; Narathiwat; Ranong; Surat Thani; Hua Hin; Samui; Sukhothai; and U-tapao.
Airports in Myanmar have yet to be identified.
However, the two countries reserve the right to deny entry to certain citizens, or reduce their stay without having to inform them of the reasons, he said.
The spokesman cited that the agreement could also be suspended for security and public health reasons by informing the other country at least 15 days in advance. It can be annulled by either country through a notice presented through diplomatic channels at least 60 days in advance.
Earlier this month, Myanmar’s Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh signed a bilateral agreement in New York to allow Vietnamese travellers, the first in ASEAN, to gain visa-free entry to Myanmar.
Visa-free travel between the two countries applied 26 October this year.
According to the visa exemption pact between Vietnam and Myanmar, citizens need to have passports valid for a minimum of six months, and their stay must not exceed 14 days, without any facility to extend.
Myanmar authorities have also granted pre-arranged visa-on-arrival for visitors from 48 countries. It requires pre-approval from authorities. Once the traveller has confirmation that the visa on arrival has been approved they take a flight to Yangon and have the visa stamped into their passport on arrival.
The visa-free entry between Thailand and Myanmar will be limited to airline travel only, which excludes travellers who might want to travel over the border at Mae Sai in Chiang Rai province and then fly from Tachilek airport to Yangon, Mandalay or Bagan. They will still need a visa to pass through the overland checkpoint.
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