The ruling came into effect on February 1, according to Immigration and National Registration Department assistant director, U Than Win.
Between February 1 and 10, just 76 visitors rook advantage of the system and received business, tourist entry or transit visas on arrival.
Mr Than wants to encourage more people to use the service. “Citizens of 48 countries are eligible for visa on arrival. This will be useful for eligible travellers who don’t have time to apply for a visa at an embassy,” he said.
However, TTR Weekly reports, very little information has filtered through to the travel trade or even airlines, many of which are still insisting that passengers obtain visas in advance from the nearest Myanmar embassy.
Airlines in particular are still insisting that people get visas in advance, for fear that the airline will have to bear the expense of repatriating a passenger if the visa on arrival is not approved.
There are three types of visa categories: business, tourist entry and transit, costing U$50, US$40 and US$20 (B1,500, B1,200 and B600) respectively.
“The duration of a business visa is 70 days,” Mr Than said, “while tourist entry visas for seminars, meetings and workshops are valid for 28 days.”
The list of 22 new countries whose citizens are now eligible for visas on arrival is : Austria Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Citizens of 26 other countries have been eligible for visa on entry since June last year, though the system at Mandalay International Airport only came into effect on November 1.
These countries are: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, the USA and Vietnam.
According to the Myanmar Ministry of Ministry of Immigration and Population website the visas on arrival are available at both Mandalay and Yangon airports. For details click here.