Myanmar stopping people from flying out of Yangon: reports

Immigration at Yangon International Airport. Photo: Lightjourney.com.sg.
Immigration at Yangon International Airport. Photo: Lightjourney.com.sg.

Citizens are being turning people away from Yangon’s airport to prevent them from leaving the country, according to travelers and agencies.

Amid reports from travelers that they have not been allowed onto planes, an airport employee yesterday confirmed that new restrictions have been put in place to prevent people from leaving the country.

“Upon check-in, visitors are asked to present foreign currency and a return flight ticket. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to travel overseas unless the information is valid,” said a 24-year-old employee at Yangon International Airport who asked not to be named due to fear of reprisal.

According to Yangon-based travel agencies and travelers, the junta has been restricting departures from the country since Friday, with a reported 17 travelers turned away from the airport during the weekend. 

“Some of them were denied departure because they have work visas,” TTT Travel & Tour wrote on Facebook.

The two most common types of passports in Myanmar are PJ for the purpose of working and PV for visits. Those holding PJ passports are reportedly being asked to show an Overseas Worker Identification Card from the Ministry of Immigration and Population office in Naypyidaw in order to fly abroad to work. 

Maung Maung, one of the individuals turned away from boarding a flight to Dubai told Coconuts that now he will need to apply to the Naypyidaw office for the card. Once approved, he will have to attend two days of virtual training to obtain his identification card at the North Dagon’s Pinlon office.

“They also asked for an offer letter, recommendation letter for COVID-19, employment contract, passport copy, visa copy and an application form in order to apply for it,” he said.

He was not sure how long he would have to wait for approval. 

“I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to go, because no one knows for sure?” he added. “Flight reservations are no longer available, thus I’ll have to postpone my employment over there. I don’t have any options but to wait for the card. I am so frustrated now. Our country is difficult to live in and even more difficult to leave now.”

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