1. Requirement for written employment contracts

Under section 5(a) of the Employment and Skills Development Law 2013, companies must enter into written employment contracts with all its employees within 30 days of employment. However, we strongly recommend entering into employment contracts prior to the commencement of employment so as to clearly set out the rights and obligations of the employer and employee, and to safeguard the rights of the company.

An employer convicted of failing to sign an employment contract shall be punished with imprisonment of up to 6 months or with a fine or both (section 38 Employment and Skills Development Law 2013).

There is no requirement for a written employment contract during pre-employment probation or training period before commencement of employment. However, we would recommend that at least an appointment letter (with the key terms contained therein) be signed by parties.

2. Registration of employment contracts

The executed written contract must be submitted to the relevant Township Labour Office for registration. Employment contracts not registered with the relevant township labour offices may be declared void.

3. Prescribed employment contract template

The Ministry of Labour has announced that all employees in Myanmar must be employed under a prescribed employment contract template (Notification 1/2015). On or about 28 August 2017, a new Employment Contract Template was officially announced.

4. Employment terms

Pursuant to section 5(b) of the Employment and Skills Development Law 2013, the following key particulars (amongst others) shall be included in every employment contract:

  1. Type of employment;
  2. Contract term / duration of employment;
  3. Probation period (if any);
  4. Wages / salary;
  5. Working hours;
  6. Overtime (if any);
  7. Holidays and leave days;
  8. Rights and obligations of employee;
  9. Rights and obligations of employer;
  10. Termination; and
  11. Other terms of the employment agreement.

These terms are found in the prescribed employment contract template. We elaborate on some of the key employment terms below:

a) Contract Duration / Term of Employment

The duration / term of employment is not specifically regulated under any law. However, in accordance with the prescribed employment contract template, the term of the employment shall be stated in detail.

There is no longer a maximum term limit. Previously, the term of an employment contract was limited to a (renewable) term of 2 years.

The employer shall not refuse to extend the contract term without valid reasons.

An employee's length of service shall be calculated from the date he or she joined the company until his or her last day of service (i.e. accumulated length of all renewed terms). This provision clarifies the calculation of the length of employment for Notification 84/2015 of the Ministry of Labour concerning severance payments for the termination of employment contracts by the employer. Under this Notification, the amount of the severance payment depends on the time of consecutive employment, with a payment of up to 13 monthly salaries for employees having been employed for more than 25 years.

b) Probation Period

While the Employment and Skills Development Law 2013 stipulates that it is possible to agree upon a probation period, the law does not provide any further details.

According to the prescribed employment contract template, the probation period shall not exceed 3 months. Where an employer takes the view that a probation period is not necessary, the employee may be engaged without any probation period.

Under the prescribed employment contract template, the contract terms applicable to employees on probation and employees who have completed their probation period are similar (e.g. rules on termination are identical).

c) Working Hours

According to the prescribed employment contract template, the regular working hours as well as meal times and rest times shall be stated. Where required due to the nature of the employment or the nature of the enterprise, this provision may, upon mutual agreement between employer and employee, be amended in accordance with applicable laws. This seems to imply that employees in sectors such as hospitality and maritime may agree to flexible working hours. However, it remains to be seen how the Department of Labour will interpret this provision. As it stands, any amendment of working hours needs to be submitted to the relevant authorities for approval.

Pursuant to Myanmar labour laws, at least 1 day per week shall be granted as a paid rest day. Ordinarily Sundays are the designated rest days. Where necessary (e.g. due to nature of employment or nature of employer's business / operations), the employer and employee may mutually agree on any other day of the week to be the rest day. Wages / salaries shall be paid on those rest days. Should the employer require the employee to work on his or her designated rest day, he or she shall enjoy an alternative day of rest (and may be entitled to overtime pay depending on the terms of the contract).

Depending on the industry sector the employment falls under, different sector specific laws may be applicable. For instance, the Factories Act 1951 and the Oilfields (Labour and Welfare) Act 1951, provide for 44 to 48 work hours per week.

d) Overtime

Depending on the nature of the employer's business and operations and/or the nature of the employment, overtime may be carried out in accordance with Myanmar labour law (including sector specific regulations) and upon mutual agreement between the employer and employee. Overtime pay shall be calculated and paid in accordance with the law. If an employee is required to work overtime, he or she is entitled to overtime pay at double the basic wage / salary.

Overtime is usually limited to a maximum of 12 hours per week, or up to 16 hours in special cases. Different stipulations in sector specific laws will apply (e.g. Factories Act 1951 and the Oilfields (Labour and Welfare) Act 1951).

e) Public Holidays

Under the Leave and Holidays Act 1951, every employee shall be granted paid public holidays as announced by the Government in the Myanmar Gazette. On average, Myanmar has 25 public holidays per year:

 Public Holiday / Festival  No. of days  Dates
 New Year  1 1 January
 Independence Day  1 4 January
 Union Day  1 12 February
 Peasants Day  1 2 March
 Full Moon of Tabaung  1 Variable
 Armed Forces Day  1 27 March
 Maha Thingyan (Water festival)  5 3 to 17 April
 May Day  1 1 May
 Full moon day of Kasong  1 Variable
 Full moon day of Waso  1 Variable
 Full moon day of Thadingyut  3 Variable
 Eid al-Adha  1 Variable
 Deepavali  1  Variable
 Full moon of Tazaungmone  2  Variable
 National day  1  Variable
 Kayin New Year Day  1  Variable
 Christmas day  1  25 December
 New Year holidays  1  31 December

f) Leave

Leave is governed by the Leave and Holidays Act (1951), but additional rules may apply in accordance with other laws, such as the Social Security Law (2012) for employees contributing to the Social Security Fund.

(i) Casual leave

Every employee is entitled to 6 days of annual paid casual leave. Casual leave may not be carried forward to the subsequent year and may not be utilised for more than 3 consecutive days at a time, except in the case of religious or compulsory events (e.g. weddings, funerals).

(ii) Annual leave (paid)

A minimum of 10 annual leave days (paid leave) per year shall be provided. The employee must complete 12 consecutive months of service with a minimum of 20 working days in each month to enjoy the annual leave days in that same year, otherwise the number of annual leave days can be reduced on a pro-rata basis.

Annual leave may be accumulated and carried forward as agreed between employer and employee.

(iii) Medical leave

Medical leave is governed by the Leave and Holidays Act 1951. Employees contributing to the Social Security Fund may further be entitled to additional leave and other benefits as stipulated in the Social Security Law 2012.

Under the Leave and Holidays Act, employees are entitled to 30 days of paid medical leave per year, provided that they have completed 6 months of service.

Employees covered by the Social Security Law (2012) are also entitled to 30 days of medical leave (if they have completed six (6) months of service), but may enjoy additional leave in case of certain work injuries and illnesses. Theoretically, employees covered by the Social Security Law (2012) may receive part of their salary from the Social Security Fund, but in practice, such medical leave is often also granted as paid leave.

(iv) Maternity and paternity leave

Maternity leave is governed by the Leave and Holidays Act 1951. Employees contributing to the Social Security Fund may further be entitled to additional leave and other benefits as stipulated in the Social Security Law 2012.

Under the Leave and Holidays Act, employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, to be taken six (6) weeks before confinement and eight (8) weeks after confinement.

Employees covered by the Social Security Law are entitled to similar 14 weeks of maternity leave, but may further enjoy additional four (4) weeks in case of twins or up to six (6) weeks in case of a miscarriage. Theoretically, employees covered by the Social Security Law may receive part of their salary from the Social Security Fund, but in practice, such maternity leave is often also granted as paid leave.

Male employees covered by the Social Security law may enjoy 15 days of paternity leave after confinement of their wives.

(v) Funeral leave

Under the latest prescribed employment contract template, there is a new category of funeral leave. In the event of death of a parent or family member, the employee shall be allowed to utilise annual leave or casual leave, and where all annual and casual leave have been exhausted, the employee shall be entitled to unpaid leave.

No additional days of leave are provided as funeral leave. It is intended that funeral leave be deducted from annual leave or casual leave.

g) Salary and Minimum wage

Salary – Salaries are to be paid at the end of the month or, depending on the size of the employing enterprise, between 5 to 10 days before the end of the month, as stipulated in the Payment of Wages Law 2016. The employer is permitted and required to withhold income tax and social security payments. Other deductions, e.g. for absence, may only be withheld within the limits stipulated in the law.

Minimum wage – Minimum wage is prescribed for all organisations with more than 15 employees. According to Notification 1/2018, the minimum wage is MMK 4,800 per day for 8 hours of work (excluding break time). For such purpose, the Minimum Wage Law 2013 defines wage as the basic salary excluding pension and gratuity payments, social security cash benefits, allowances (for travel, accommodation, meals, electricity charges, water service charges and duties, taxes, medical treatment and recreational purposes) and severance payments. Overtime payment is in addition to the minimum wage, and does not fall within it.

h) Rights of employee – Medical benefits

Employees covered by the Social Security Law 2012 are entitled to visit government hospitals and other benefits as granted under the law. Other employees may be entitled to benefits under the Workmen's Compensation Act 1923 in case of work injuries, but have otherwise no statutory right to medical treatment. (See 1.5.5 Social Security and Compensation for Injury and Illness below)

i) Obligations of employee – compliance obligations

Employees are obliged to adhere to terms agreed to in the employment agreement insofar as such terms do not contravene any laws in Myanmar and remains valid and binding on parties (including confidentiality obligations). Take note that post-contractual non-compete obligations for employees are not permitted and void under the Myanmar Contract Act 1872.

Employees are also expected to comply with all laws in Myanmar including anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws (see section 1.1).

j) Resignation, Dismissal, Termination

Regulations on resignation, dismissal and termination of employment are governed by policies of the Ministry of Labour and can also be inferred from the contents of the prescribed employment contract template.

(i) Resignation by employee

Under the prescribed employment contract template, the employee shall give the employer a minimum of 1 months' notice prior to resignation.

While the prescribed employment contract template provides for the employer's acceptance of the resignation of an employee, resignation is in practice a unilateral act not requiring permission, unless a minimum fixed term of employment or training bond was agreed upon. To this end, we strong recommend that employment contracts be clear on terms of fixed contract durations and reimbursement obligations with an employee receiving training (e.g. if the employee resigns within 6 months after completion of training, he or she has to reimburse the employer the training fees).

The employer shall accept the resignation with disbursement of any outstanding salary / wage for the days for which the employee had works and compensation for any remaining annual leave days, but shall not be required to make severance payment to the employee.

(ii) Termination by employer

Termination of an employee shall be done in writing and signed by both employer and employee. The employer should keep records of the termination papers and indicate reasons for the termination, so as to safeguard their rights in the event an employee challenges the termination or brings a claim against the employer.


According to the practices of the Department of Labour, an employee may only be dismissed for reasons specified in the employment contract or work rules.

In this regard, we would recommend that all employee rules and regulations be brought to the employees' attention and annexed to their employment contract. Employers should specify the code of conduct expected of the employees and that non-compliance amounts to misconduct. Employer should also specify conduct that amounts to wrongdoing (or grave misconduct) in which case immediate termination can be justified.

The prescribed employment contract template stipulates: for ordinary misconduct, an employee shall be given a warning for the first and second violation, and upon the third violation, shall sign an undertaking not to violate the employment rules again failing which he or she shall be dismissed without notice and without severance payment. Should the employee (after providing the undertaking) violate any employment rules within 12 months from the date of the undertaking, he or she can be dismissed without notice and without severance payment. Employers must take note to pay the employee for work done up till his or her last day of service despite the dismissal.

The prescribed employment contract template is silent on grave misconduct or wrongdoing. It appears that an immediate, summary dismissal is permitted.

Employers should attach all employment rules and code of conduct as annexures to the employment contract, and should specify therein the different categories of misconduct and the corresponding disciplinary actions that the employer is entitled to take.

Termination by notice

The employer may terminate an employee by giving 1 months' notice and severance payment (according to statutory requirement), provided the employee is not terminated pursuant to misconduct or contravention of any laws or regulations.


Pursuant to the official Employment Contract Template, terminations due to redundancy shall be coordinated with a representative of the Labour Organization and a representative of the Workplace Coordination Committee, or, in the absence of a Labour Organization, directly with the Workplace Coordination Committee.

Termination pursuant to other events

As set out in the prescribed employment contract template, an employment contract can also be terminated for the following reasons:

  • Winding-up of the employer's company;
  • Suspension of the employer's business and operations due to unforeseeable events; and
  • Death of the employee. 

Post-Termination Restraints

Non-compete. Labour laws and regulations do not specifically prohibit non-compete clauses. Such clauses may be included in employment agreements.

Customer or employee non-solicit. Such provisions may be included in employment contracts with executives or management level employees. Labour laws and regulations do not specifically prohibit such clauses.

However, do take note that the relevant township labour offices have the discretion to raise issues with such clauses and refuse registration if they are of the view that the clause is not acceptable.

(iii) Severance payment

Employees terminated by notice or with payment in lieu of notice shall be entitled to severance payment as follows:

 Term of Employment  Severance Amount
 Less than 6 months  No severance payment
 6 months to 1 year  0.5 month's salary
 1 – 2 years  1 month's salary
 2 – 3 years  1.5 months' salary
 3 – 4 years  3 months' salary
 4 – 6 years  4 months' salary
 6 – 8 years  5 months' salary
 8 – 10 years  6 months' salary
 10 – 20 years  8 months' salary
 20 – 25 years  10 months' salary
 More than 25 years  13 months' salary

5. Social Security and Compensation for Injury and Illness

a) Social Security Coverage for Workers and Employers

All companies with five or more employees must register with the Social Security Township Office of the Social Security Board within 30 days of the start of business, and must pay regular contributions in order to protect workers in case of sickness, maternity, death or work injury.

Workers who are employed permanently or temporary and apprentices must be mandatorily registered. All sectors are required to participate in the Social Security programme with the exception of the following sectors, which can participate voluntarily:

  • Government departments and organisations (non-business);
  • International organisations, embassies or consulates of foreign governments;
  • Seasonal farming and fishery;
  • Establishments which carry out business only for a period of less than 3 months;
  • Non-profit organisation;
  • Family businesses;
  • Domestic services not for business purposes; and
  • Any other establishments as may be exempted by the President.

Workers whose employers are not required to register with the Social Security Township Office can register on a voluntary basis.

b) Social Security Contributions by Employers and Workers

If applicable, both employer and employee must make mandatory contributions to the Social Security Fund (SSF). Employers must withhold employees' contributions from the employees' pay.

 Benefit  Contribution level
  • Medical care
  • Funeral grant
  • Sickness cash benefit
  • Maternity cash benefit
  • Paternity cash benefit
"Health and Social Care Fund"
  • If the insured person is less than 60 years old at registration: employee 2%; employer 2%
  • If the insured person is 60 years old or older at registration: employee 2.5%; employer 2.5%
  •  Work injury
 "Employment injury Fund"
Employer: 1%
(Note: can go up to 1.5% as a sanction in case of repeated work injuries)

In calculating wages, wages are defined as "all remunerations entitled to be received by a worker for the work carried out by him", which includes other remunerations which may be determined as overtime fees and income".

Wage calculation does not include:

  • Pension payments;
  • Gratuity for services;
  • Social security cash benefits;
  • Allowances for travel and meals;
  • Medical treatment or other services;
  • Accommodation;
  • Electricity or water service;
  • Duties and taxes;
  • Reimbursement for work-related expenses;
  • Bonus due at end of contract; and
  • Damages for dismissal from work and compassionate allowance.

c) Compensation for Injury and Illness

Compensation for workplace injury and illness is regulated under the Social Security Law (SSL) and the Workmen's Compensation Act. The SSL applies to all companies (with five or more employees) and employers shall pay for medical treatment for workplace injuries caused by employers' failure to keep occupational safety plans and protections, omissions of the employer, or criminal action.

In order to be compensated, the injured worker, or his/her family in case of death of the worker, can submit his case to the township committee on workmen compensation (under the MOLIP). The committee reviews the case, investigates the injury and establishes the amount the employer must pay in compensation of the work injury or illness.

Workers insured under the SSL are also entitled to several types of cash benefits during the period of reduced or lost income due to injury and illness, and the details are provided in the next section.

All workers with workplace injuries or illness who are not covered by the Social Security programmes can resort to the Workmen's Compensation Act (1923). In case of accidents, employers shall offer free medical examination to workers. Employers are also liable to pay compensation to workers for personal injuries and diseases arising out of and in the course of employment, provided that, in respect of injury, it should not be directly attributable to the worker having been under the influence of drink or drugs, or worker's wilful disobedience of the safety rules and orders of the employer, or worker's wilful removal or disregard of safety guard or other device which he/she knew to have been provided for the purpose of securing his/her safety. In order to be compensated, the injured worker, or his/her family in case of death of the worker, can submit his case to the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation appointed by the President in localities, and the Commissioner reviews the case and decides the amount the employer must pay in compensation of the work injury or illness. In the case of death of a worker, for instance, compensation shall be a sum equal to 36 times the worker's monthly wages.

d) Appealing Decisions of the Social Security Board

Insured workers and employers have the right to appeal decisions of a local Social Security Office to the Region or State levels, and then to the Appeal Tribunal established by the Social Security Board.

Workers and employers covered under the Workmen's Compensation Act can appeal decisions of the Commissioner to the High Court.

e) Types of Benefits for Workers

 Type  Qualification / Requirement  Benefit  Duration
Medical care
(ss. 22-23 of the Social Security Law (SSL))

  • Medical exam (in case of voluntary registration)
  • Worker registered at the SSB and regularly paying contributions
  • Free medical care in Social Security clinics and hospitals
  • Reimbursement of care in other public hospitals under referral
 Up to 26 weeks
  • 6 months' work
  • 4 months' contribution to Social Security Fund (SSF)
Cash benefit at 60% of wages (based on the average of the past 4 months of wages) Up to 26 weeks
(SSL ss. 25-27)

  • 12 months' work
  • 6 months' contribution
  • Mother: Free medical care in permitted hospitals, clinics
  • Child: medical care in first year
  • Cash benefit for maternity leave at 66.67% of the average wage (over the previous 12 months)
  • Additional bonus of 50%, 75% or 100% of the average wage at the time of delivery depending on the number of babies (1, 2 or 3)

Up to 14 weeks
(SSL ss. 28)

  • 12 months' work
  • 6 months' contribution
Cash benefit for leave at 66.67% of average wages (over the previous 12 months), plus maternity bonus for the uninsured spouse Up to 15 days
Funeral Grant (SSL s. 30; SS Rules s. 129) Being registered and regularly paying contributions at least 1 month prior to the claim Funeral allowance benefit = average monthly wages or income in the past 4 months x ((number of contributed months/18)+1) Lump Sum
Work Injury – Temporary Disability
(SSL ss. 55-56)

Temporarily incapable of work caused by work accident / injury
  • at least 2 months' contribution
 Cash benefit at 66.67% of monthly average wage (previous 4 months) Up to 12 months
Work Injury –Survivor's benefit
(SSL s.62)

Death of the worker due to work accident / disease
  • at least 2 months' contribution
Between 30 and 80 times the average monthly wage of the deceased over the past four months depending on the deceased's contribution period Lump Sum

6. Engagement of independent contractors or consultants

Independent contractors can be engaged as consultants in Myanmar. Such consultants can be engaged under a service agreement instead of an employment contract.

Foreign consultants can be engaged if they obtain legal working status in Myanmar. For more information on employment of non-Myanmar citizens, see relevant section below.

7. Workplace safety and health provisions

Health and safety rules were primarily stipulated in the Factories Act (1951). Some key rules and regulations to take note are as follows:

  • Precautions against "occupational hazards" and creation of a "healthy and hygienic work environment";
  • Provision of protective gear and respective training;
  • Measures to prevent damage to the hearing and health of workers due to noise issuing from the manufacturing process of the factory, and to prevent accidents;
  • Arrangement of escape routes and fire alarms;
  • Notification requirement to the social security clinic or workers' hospital with regard to any occupational illnesses and any suspicion that an occupational illness has occurred, as well as compliance with the social security clinic or workers' hospital recommendation how to deal with an occupational illness; and
  • In order to reduce and eliminate workplace accidents and occupational diseases, the employer shall cause the person in-charge of workplace safety and health, supervisors and workers to attend training courses recognized by the Ministry of Labour on workplace safety and health from time to time. 

The new Workplace Safety and Health Law 2019 also sets out health and safety rules applicable to specific business and industry sectors. In brief,

  • Employer are obliged to take steps to protect the health and ensure the safety of their workers, including by carrying out risks assessment of the workplace and making applicable emergency plans.
  • The employee / worker shall be responsible for complying with the instructions and protocols set in place by the employer for purposes of ensuring workplace safety and health. This includes complying with the safety guidelines on the use and handling of equipment, machine and other materials.
  • The businesses/industries covered under this new law must be registered under this law.

8. Labour disputes

The labour dispute resolution system in Myanmar is administered by the Ministry of Labour and primarily governed by the Settlement of Labour Dispute Law 2012 (as amended in 2014 and 2019), the objective of which is to provide a fair and quick dispute resolution forum as an alternative to litigation and to prevent strikes or lock-outs.

For individual disputes (e.g. wrongful dismissal, breach of contractual duties etc.), the employer or employee may file a complaint to the relevant Township Conciliation Body (TCB). The TCB will assist parties to mutually agree to resolve their dispute through neutral third-party intervention (i.e. mediation). Parties will work together to reach a mutually agreed settlement via negotiations facilitated by a conciliator, failing which, parties or one of the parties may apply to a competent court for the dispute to be heard and decided upon by a judge.

For collective disputes (collective or class actions), the labour organisation or the employees may collectively complain or commence a claim before the following bodies / courts (in sequence):

  1. Workplace Coordinating Committee;
  2. Township Conciliation Body;
  3. State / Regional Dispute Settlement Arbitration Body;
  4. Dispute Settlement Arbitration Council; and
  5. The Supreme Court.

9. Trade unions and strikes

Trade unions may be formed at the factory level where at least 30 workers and at least 10% of all workers in a factory approve the formation of the labour union. Umbrella organisations may be formed at the township, regional and national levels.

Labour unions have the following functions and rights (amongst others):

  1. to negotiate and enter into settlement with employers in the event employees are denied their rights under the relevant labour laws;
  2. to demand re-employment of employees dismissed in contravention of any labour laws or without reasonable cause or where there is cause to believe that the dismissal was pursuant to the employee's membership or activities in a trade union or labour organisation;
  3. to support employees in collective bargaining; and
  4. to assist in preparation of employment agreements.

Employers shall not impede their employees' right to participate in a union, and shall not dominate and control the union. They may grant their employees (upon recommendation of an executive committee) up to 2 days leave for union activities.

Employees of companies providing essential services (e.g. water and electricity services, healthcare services, telecommunication services etc.) are not permitted to go on strikes. Stricter rules and a requirement on provision of minimal services apply to employees of companies providing public utilities services (including public transport services, port and cargo services, postal services).

Employees in a labour union may, under certain circumstances, go on strikes in the event no resolution can be obtained under the general labour dispute resolution mechanism. The following requirements must first be satisfied:

  1. The trade union must have locus standi to make the demands sought i.e. the demands sought at the proposed strike must be within the scope of competence of the union (e.g. higher wages, reinstitution of employment upon termination or dismissal without cause, adequate overtime payment);
  2. Approval of more than 50% of the workers in the union has been obtained;
  3. Approval of the relevant township labour organisation must be obtained; and
  4. Permission from the conciliation body previously addressing the demands made

10. Employment of foreign employees (non-Myanmar citizens)

Myanmar has yet to establish a comprehensive work permit system for foreign workers. At the moment, a work permit system is only available for foreign employees working for companies with a Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) investment permit (MIC Permit). We understand that the National League for Democracy-led government is drafting legislation to create a more cohesive framework.

Currently, foreigners can acquire legal working status in Myanmar by obtaining business visas, as well as stay permits and Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa (where necessary).

a) Business Visa

At present, most foreign workers in Myanmar enter and live in the country with a business visa. Foreign workers must first acquire a single entry business visa valid for up to 70 days. Upon exit, the single entry visa expires and cannot be re-used. For re-entry, an application for a fresh single entry business visa is necessary.

A multiple entry business visa can be acquired subsequently after the applicant has used or entered the country with single entry business visas and has not violated any local laws including immigration laws. Issuance of the multiple entry business visa may be determined on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, the immigration authorities may require only one previous single entry visa, while in other cases they may require three. Multiple entry business visas allow for unlimited entries over a duration of three months, six months, or one year. There is a maximum stay duration of 70 days per entry, similar to the limit for single entry visa.

Business visas can be applied for at a Myanmar embassy or consulate. Visa costs vary depending on country of origin.

b) Stay Permit and Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa

Business visas are limited to 70 days' stays regardless of whether they are for single entry or multiple entries. To extend the total stay period beyond 70 days, a foreigner needs to obtain a Stay Permit or Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa. A stay permit is not a separate visa, but a special permit that removes the 70 day limit on visas, allowing a foreign worker to remain in Myanmar for lengths of either three months, six months, or one year.

A stay permit is only valid for one entry even if the holder has a valid multiple entry visa. For the foreigner to be allowed to stay in Myanmar for more than 70 days upon entry, a Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa is required. The Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa is also valid for either three months, six months, or one year. The criteria for acquiring this visa is stricter than for business visas and stay permits. To be eligible for the Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa, the applicant must have travelled to Myanmar on a business visa a minimum of three separate times and present evidence that they are employed as a consultant, director, or manager in Myanmar. The stay permit and Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa are regulated by the Ministry of Immigration and Population.

Companies should ensure that their employees obtain the necessary visas and permits before entering Myanmar, and that they do not exceed the stay duration allowed under their respective visas and/or permits.

In addition, companies recruiting foreigners to work in Myanmar are advised to monitor government websites and news services for any legislative developments.

Generally, employers are expected to give preference to local candidates, have systems in place for transfer of knowledge and skills to local employees, and cannot hire foreigners for unskilled labour.

11. Looking Forward

Draft laws aimed at clarifying regulations on the employment foreign workers have been drawn up and are currently undergoing revisions.

  1. Draft Law Concerning Foreigners contains inter alia provisions on introduction of a foreigner registration certificate, temporary travel and relocation, obligations on foreigners and landlords providing private accommodation to foreigners and duties and powers of the registrars and immigration officers.
  2. Draft Foreign Worker Law contains inter alia provisions on the definition of "foreign workers", their rights and duties, establishment of a foreign workers fund, prohibitions applicable to foreign workers.

Dentons Rodyk thanks and acknowledges director Nyein Sanda Kyaw for her contributions to this article.

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