Before I dropped by the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok this morning I had read a lot of conflicting information online about what documents you need to get a Burmese visa and how the embassy office works. Here is what I did in order to get mine processed, which is obviously current at today's date.
The embassy is a short walk down from the Surasak BTS Skytrain station on the Silom Line. If you come from the direction of Sala Daeng and other stations back toward the National Stadium, use one of the exits that will put you on the RIGHT side of Sathon Road. Then walk BACK in the direction that the Skytrain came from along that side of the road (obviously if you come from the other direction on the Skytrain, get out on the LEFT side of Sathon Road and continue walking up the way the line runs).
The Myanmar embassy is located on the corner of Sathon Road and a side street past a local Christian high school and 7/11. You will be able to easily spot the Burmese flag on the fence. Go down the street a few paces and there is a gate that has Visa Office (or something like that) printed above it. Instructions on how to get your visa are tacked here on the wall.
However, if you want to be ahead of the game, these are the documents you will need prepared:
- Visa application form: there are many conflicting forms available online. If you are in Bangkok, the easiest way to get the correct form is to continue walking past the embassy until you come to a little side lane with some shops in it. Down here is a copy shop where you can get a copy of the form for 5 baht, and fill it out at one of the little desks. There are even sample forms pre-filled and stuck to the desk so you know how to fill out all the sections. The owner will also photocopy your passport photo page for you for 3 baht. Hang onto this copy! Also note that for a tourist visa you are required to complete the section on the back page about your employment history.
- Photocopy of your passport photo page
- Two (2) passport photos of you: I had seen on some forms they require the photo to be 4cm x 6cm. When I actually was inside the embassy there were no specific size requirements listed, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
- Copy of your airline tickets, and a booking slip for where you will be staying upon arrival: Look, I don't know how strict they are on these factors - I'd imagine that they are quite interested in knowing that you will definitely be leaving at the end of your visa period. It had been recommended to me that I prepare these documents anyway, and it certainly helped when I was talking to the lady at the counter that she could inspect my tickets and ask how quickly I wanted my visa prepared.
Glue one of your passport photos to the little square in the upper right hand corner of your form. Paperclip your other photo to the front of the form, and the passport photocopy to the back (again, if you go to the copy shop they have glue and paperclips laid out for you).
The visa application hours are between 9:00am and 12:00pm. I arrived at about 8:50am and there was already a large queue up the street outside the gate.
Line up, be patient. The queue will slowly progress toward Counter 4 inside (tourist visa applications). If you are missing an item you will be promptly told to go and get it by the friendly people at the counter. Otherwise, they will give your documents a quick once-over, hand you a queue number and tell you to wait for your number to be called at Counter 2.
Once you are called up to Counter 2 give the person all your documents, including airline tickets and hotel booking. The lady looked at my Air Asia booking and noted it was for Friday. "Do you want to pick up visa today or tomorrow?" Same day service about 1260 baht, next day about 1050 baht. A negligible saving. There is also a 'normal' service which is cheaper and takes a couple of days.
"Today is fine," I replied.
"Okay, come and pick it up after 3:30 this afternoon," she said, taking the documents away.
And that was it! Pick up of visas is between 3:30 and 4:30 every day, so now I am just relaxing at the hostel and waiting to go and collect my passport. Then I'm off to Myanmar for 10 days!
I hope this information is helpful to somebody! It seems the rules are constantly changing so it may not be current in six months' time - your best bet is to go scope out the embassy the day before, go get the documents and any help from the man in the copy shop if you need it. Otherwise, good luck!