Employment law in Myanmar is still a work in progress. Rather than a single labour code, a patchwork of labour legislation covers different aspects of the employment relationship. Currently, the rules and regulations regarding foreign workers are regularly changing and requirements by the authorities may vary from application to application. We understand that the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population (“MOLIP”) is currently drafting a Foreign Workers Law that will hopefully formalize the detailed requirements for all foreign workers in the future.
There is no explicit legal provision on the deployment of employees working in Myanmar. Generally, the deployed employee would be governed by an employment contract between the employee so deployed and the parent company. Deploying the employee presents challenges for employers as to whether the employer is obliged to adhere to the employment contract executed between the employer and deployed employee or also to adhere to Myanmar labour law provisions.
In practice, a foreign company may send its hired employees into Myanmar to work under a valid business or employment visa. Myanmar labour law would not apply to them, unless the employment contract specifically identifies any Myanmar legal obligations.
Immigration Requirements for Deployed Foreign Experts/Employees
The Burma Immigration (Emergency Provisions) Act 1947 states that no foreign national shall enter the Union of Burma without an immigration permit being issued or a valid passport with a duly issued visa by a consular representative of the Myanmar Government. Pursuant to the updated visa policy issued by the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population, foreign nationals can apply for either of the following two visas:
- Business Visa: A business visa is valid for 70 days and costs USD 50). The holder of a business visa can apply for a multiple entry visa for three months, six months, and one year (fees are USD 200, USD 400, and USD 600 respectively); and
- Employment Visa: An employment visa is valid for 70 days and costs USD 50. The holder can apply for a multiple entry visa and stay permit in the same manner as a business visa holder.
MIC’s approval on appointing foreign experts in the company with an MIC permit/endorsement
Pursuant to the Myanmar Investment Rules, companies with MIC permits/endorsements must obtain approval from the MIC when appointing foreign nationals to senior management, technician, expert or consultant roles. The company must submit an application in advance to the MIC on the appointment of foreign experts, or within seven working days of the foreign expert’s arrival date in Myanmar.
The information provided here is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from qualified legal counsel for all specific situations.
Regional Legal Adviser