The U.S. Embassy announced another step to make travel easier between Myanmar and the United States. Myanmar citizens can now apply for a combined B-1/B-2 visa, which allows travel to the U.S. for both business and/or tourism purposes. The single-entry visa is valid for three months and there is no issuance fee, according to a press release.
“Building on the growing travel between our two countries, the U.S. Embassy is now making it easier for visitors from Myanmar to go to the United States,” U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel said. Travel between the United States and Myanmar has increased greatly in recent years. In 2018, the U.S. Embassy issued almost 14,000 visas to Myanmar citizens, a 40% increase from 2015. In the 2017/2018 school year, over 1,500 Myanmar students studied in the United States, a 16% increase from the previous year.
The number of American travellers to Myanmar has also increased in the last year. 35,000 U.S. citizens visited Myanmar in the first half of 2019, a 3% increase from the first half of 2018. The United States consistently ranks among the top five foreign countries traveling to Myanmar. More visitors travel to Myanmar from the United States than from any other country outside Asia.
The U.S. Embassy works with the Myanmar government to facilitate travel between the two countries. The new combined visa encourages closer ties between Myanmar and the United States, the statement said.