COVID-19 and Myanmar
This article is to help Expats who are living in Yangon and don’t want to leave due to COVID-19. Here we will explain what you need to do to stay in the country legally and safely.
Applying for Form C
To apply for Form C, you will need to head to your local immigration office. Here you will need to supply the following documentation;
- You will need a copy of your passport photo page, and a copy of your visa page.
- You will need your tenancy agreement or at least a copy of it.
- Local Help – You will need someone to assist you who is local. They will need to supply their heritage documentation, e.g. a family tree. They will also need a copy of their identification card. This person will be taking legal responsibility for you, stating you live in their apartment.
- Requesting Letter – You will need in Burmese for this person to write an official letter to the immigration office requesting the Form C documentation for their tenant.
- You will also need two passport photos
- Official Company Letter
Once you have all of this, you will need to head to your local immigration office (Ya Wa Ta). Here you will have to supply all the above-stated documentation. If successful they will give you a letter that has been officially stamped, stating you do live at this address.
Next, you will have to go to the main township immigration office which is called (La Wa Ka). This stage they will simply give you the stamp. However, if it’s not within the legal 24 hours since moving into the property this can cause problems.
You will have to negotiate with them… usually paying a small fine to receive the stamp.
Getting a Visa Extension
If you are on a Business Visa in Myanmar you are currently able to extend this without leaving the country. The rational thought to proceed with this would be to head to the Department of Immigration, which is located on Pansodan Street, Downtown. However, you’d be quick to realise this is not actually the case.
You will have to proceed to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). Their office is located on Kanbae Road, in the Yankin Township (next to the ILO Office opposite The Central).
In the DICA you will have to head to the Company Affairs Division. They will give you an application form for the extension.
For the extension you will need the following documents;
- Application form – This has to be signed by your employer with a registered official company in Myanmar and the Director’s signature & stamp.
- Copy of Company Business Registration Certificate – This will be the official document stating it’s a legal company in the country.
- Passport Copies – You will need a copy of your passport photo page and your visa page, which is signed by your companies Director, again stamped.
- Employment Contract
- Education Certificates
- Form C – This document is the legal paperwork stating where your residential address is in Myanmar. Usually, your landlord should do this when you move into the property.
- Request letter for Visa Extension – This letter should be addressed to the Union Minister, Ministry of Labour Immigration and Population. You will have to use an official company letterhead with a signature and stamp.
- Visa Type – You will have to indicate the visa extension type you require and will have to pay the extension fee.
It will vary how long this process takes, but once all documentation has been supplied it will usually take less than an hour for them to check. After this has been done, they will instruct you to come back in one or two weeks to pick up your official stay permit letter.
Overstaying in Myanmar
If you are scared about leaving the country in Myanmar and you have already overstayed your Visa duration, this won’t be too much of an issue. If you have your Form C, then you will be able to overstay until COVID-19 has cooled down, just paying the usual $3 USD a day.
What to do if you don’t have your Form C?
If you don’t have your Form C, this can get a little tricky. Overstaying in the country is fine if you have the legal documentation to state you are residing somewhere legally.
If you don’t have this documentation and your visa hasn’t expired yet, that is fine, you will be able to follow the instructions above to acquire it.
Now the tricky part… If you don’t have your Form C and you are over your Visa duration
This next part will require the help of your landlord or a Burmese friend.
You will need to head to your local immigration office, this will depend on which township you are staying in. Here you will have to inform them about the fact you’ve overstayed and you don’t have Form C.
They will tell you; they can give you the Form C. However, the Government will have to sue your landlord or your Burmese friend. You will be given a court date where you’ll have to turn up and accept the fine, this will vary from 100,000 MMK to 400,000 MMK.
After this, they will give you the Form C documentation and you will be allowed to overstay in the country until COVID-19 has passed or at least the airline services are operational again.
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.
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