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Government Urges Foreigners To Register with Local Authorities
AUTHOR: TIN MG OO
One way a foreigner can be found in violation of the law is by failing to register within 24 hours of arriving in the country, or by overstaying their visa. Foreigners that break the law by overstaying their visa are fined at the port of entry (airport or land border checkpoint) when they leave the country. A fine of $3 dollars per day will be charged for an overstay of less than 90 days, and a fine of $5 per day for anything 90 days and over.
The immigration Law also requires hotels to electronically report a foreigner’s visit to the registration officer no later than 24 hours after their arrival.
Motels, inns, and guest houses also need to report the arrival of a foreigner to the township immigration officer no later than 24 hours. If they failed to do so, they will be charged, deported and blacklisted under Article 5/1 of the Registration of Foreigner Act (1940).
U Zaw Aung Maung also explained that a foreigner who is registered in an apartment already, but may be visiting a friend in another apartment must also inform the immigration officer no later than 24 hours of their arrival, based on Article 3/B of the Registration of Foreigner Act (1940).
From May to December 2018, there were 10 cases in which the government took action against foreigners for failing to report their stay, and 35 cases for breaching the visa rules.
Registering with local immigration is a bit complicated and seems to be different depending on the city and region a foreigner is living in. Generally it involves getting approval from various authorities and submitting stacks of paperwork that include: Form C (Report of Arrival), passports, apartment contracts, an acceptable visa for renting an apartment, home owner ID, company registration, and company invitation letter.
This paperwork must be submitted to the local Block Authority for approval, then to the Immigration Office overseeing the city or town where the apartment is located, and sometimes Township approval is also needed. The “legal documentation” the Minister referred to in his statements comes in the form of an official stamp from the Immigration Office on your paperwork, along with the officers signature.
The foreigner is usually charged a minimum of K20,000 per visa renewal by the local authorities for registering, not including agent fees. Some foreigners have reported paying as high as K65,000 per person.
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