Thai-Myanmar visa waiver deal likely next month – official

Thailand and Myanmar are expected to sign a visa exemption agreement during Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s visit next month, a spokesperson from Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, The Myanmar Times reported.

The agreement will enable Myanmar citizens visiting Thailand by air to stay visa-free for up to 14 days. Thai citizens will also be able to enter Myanmar visa-free under the same conditions.

Border crossings are not included under the exemption.

“We have already proposed a visa exemption… We will sign an agreement once the Thai government has approved it. I don’t know exactly when we will be able to sign but probably during the Thai prime minister’s visit to Myanmar next month,” said U Aung Htoo, deputy director general from the ministry’s Department of ASEAN Affairs.

The Bangkok Post reported on October 22 that the Thai cabinet has already endorsed the foreign ministry’s proposal to approve the agreement, enabling Myanmar to enter Thailand visa-free at 23 airports.

U Aung Htoo said Myanmar recently signed a visa exemption agreement with Vietnam and it will come into force from October 26.  “We are also negotiating with the Philippines and hopefully we will reach an agreement very soon,” he said.

“We plan to sign the same agreement with all other ASEAN members country in order to achieve the 2006 ASEAN Framework agreement on visa exemption… by 2015.”