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Frequently Asked Questions
 

If you have a question for the Consul, look below to see if it has already been answered. We welcome questions, and regularly post good questions to this site for the benefit of others. If you would like to ask the Consul a question, write to Consularrangoon@state.gov and write "Ask the Consul" in the email subject line

CONSULAR SERVICES
I don’t have an appointment. Can I just come to the Embassy anyway?
All non-emergency citizen services require an appointment made through our online scheduling system: U.S. Citizens Services Appointment system.  If you come to the Embassy for non-emergency services without an appointment, we will not be able to assist you.  Non-emergency  services include passport applications, extra pages, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, notarials, federal benefits questions, or general inquiries.  American Citizens with emergency needs are not required to make an appointment but we do recommend that you call ahead to get information about what you need to bring and how we can assist you. 

Can I make an appointment over the phone?
Consular staff CANNOT make appointments for you over the phone.

All appointments should be made using our online system: U.S. Citizens Services Appointment system.

How will I know if my appointment is confirmed?
Your appointment confirmation page will be emailed to the email address you provided when you make the appointment.

What is the "travel registration" or “registering with the embassy” and why should I do it?
Travel Registration, also known as the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), makes your presence in the country known to the Embassy.  If there is an emergency or if worried friends and family are trying to locate you through the Consular Section, registering allows the embassy to get in contact with you.  See our page on Travel Registration for more info.  

Is it a requirement that both parents come to the Consular Section to apply for a passport for a child under 16?
Yes. As of February 1, 2008, by law, both parents must appear with the child, take an oath, and sign the child's passport application in front of a Consular Official. For children under 16 you must bring the child's birth certificate or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) identifying the parents, and parents must have identification (ideally passports) for themselves.  

What can the Consular Section do if there is a dispute with a local business?
The U.S. citizen could consider hiring a local attorney.  The Consular Section can provide a list of local attorneys who are known but for whom the Embassy does not advocate or vouch for their professional skills or practices. The Consular Section is not able to intervene in a business dispute. However, should both the U.S. citizen and the local business request, a Consular Officer may lend its "good offices" to attend a meeting between the two sides as a neutral observer.

Can I receive mail at the Embassy?
The Embassy accepts ballots and U.S. Treasury checks on behalf of U.S. citizens but we cannot accept personal mail.

Can I use a credit card to pay for consular services?
The Consular Section accepts U.S. dollars cash only. Credit cards and other currencies are not accepted.

Does the Embassy provide fingerprinting services or perform FBI background checks?
Unfortunately we do not offer fingerprinting services. Your local police station should be able to provide this service. We do have blank fingerprint cards available on request. We do not perform FBI background checks.

Can I get money at the Embassy in an emergency?
Contact the Consular Section for assistance in getting funds if you run out of money while in country.

Can I receive money transfers from the U.S. through Western Union?

Yes. In January 2013, Western Union introduced money transfer services in seven Burmese banks. The seven Burmese banks involved in the partnership are Kanbawza Bank (KBZ Bank), First Private Bank, Myanmar Oriental Bank, Cooperative Bank, United Amara Bank, Myanmar Apex Bank, and the Myanmar Livestock and Fisheries Development Bank.
You will need the following information to pick up your transfer:

  • Sender’s name, address and phone number
  • Amount of the transfer
  • Country and city where the transfer was made
  • MTCN (money transfer control number)

My parents are green card holders and they stayed out of the U.S. for over a year. Can they go back?
Please see the USCIS website for more information about living outside the U.S. as an LPR: http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/international-travel-permanent-resident

If you are an LPR and plan to be outside of the United States for more than one year but less than two years, you should apply for a re-entry permit from USCIS before you leave.

If you have been out of the U.S. for more than 12 months and do not hold a re-entry permit, you may be considered to have abandoned your permanent residency in the United States. In very exceptional circumstances, you may be eligible for a returning resident visa (SB1) but you need to show that 1) you had the LPR status when you departed; 2) you planned to return when you left; and 3)the cause of your overstay in Burma was due to circumstances beyond your control.

How can I hear more about what the Embassy is doing for American Citizens?
Please visit our blog – “
Rangoon Snippets” for more information.

TOURISM
Does Burma have Visa on Arrival for tourists?
No, Burma does not have a visa on arrival program for tourists.  Starting September 1, 2014, the Government of Burma implemented a new eVisa program for tourists to Burma.  This program allows tourists to apply for a visa online in advance of their trip. Applicants will know within 3 days whether they have been approved for a tourist visa.  Please refer to the Ministry of Immigration and Population website for more information: http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/.

I am a U.S. citizen. Will U.S. law apply to me while I am in Burma?
As in all countries, the prevailing law is determined by the host government. We strongly encourage all visiting U.S. citizens to abide by the local laws of Burma.  Please read here what the U.S. government’s role is in arrest cases. 

What border posts are open to tourists?
Please refer to the Ministry of Tours and Tourism website: http://www.myanmartourism.org/

Are there any special rules in Burma related to religious images?

Under Burmese law, insulting religion is a prosecutable offense.  ‘Insult’ is a very broad term that could include tattoos or other religious representations in a non-religious context.  Images of the Buddha can be particularly sensitive. Also, as in any country, visitors are encouraged to be respectful of local customs when visiting religious sites.

CONDUCTING BUSINESS IN BURMA
Where can I find out about doing business in Burma?
Please look at the Business section of the Embassy website: http://burma.usembassy.gov/business.html. You can also email burmabusiness@state.gov with specific questions.

What are the current sanctions regulations?
See the OFAC website for more details and the Business section of the Embassy:
http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/pages/burma.aspx and http://burma.usembassy.gov/business.html

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