In this week’s case study, our client, XYZ B.V., asked us if it is possible to send an executive employee to Yangon to conduct market research before their new company has been approved and registered for operation. In our case study last week, we already advised them to set up a MIC company. MIC approval will take approximately 3 months; however, the company wants to start research activities right away. In this particular case we do not recommend sending staff or an executive researcher to Yangon on a tourist visit visa.
A tourist visa is only valid for a single entry, which is granted for a period of 28 days, and does not allow the holder to engage in any sort of commercial activities in Myanmar. Because leasing an apartment is prohibited to individuals holding a tourist visa, staff from XYZ B.V. is only allowed to stay at a hotel that has been pre-approved by the Ministry of Tourism. Therefore, staff wishing to conduct market research should enter Myanmar with a valid business visa, issued upon arrival at either Yangon or Mandalay International Airports or by a Myanmar consulate abroad. To obtain a business visa, the staff member needs an invitation letter from a Myanmar company as well as a copy of the company’s official registration certificate. But, is it possible to obtain these official documents? Yes.
XYZ B.V. wants to promptly begin field research especially given their competitors are also attempting to enter the market. Therefore, it is vital to send an executive employee immediately to Myanmar with a valid business visa. In this case, one of our clients, a 100 percent Myanmar company, is ready to assist by issuing the required documents for a small fee. However, it is important for the business activity to stand firm on legal ground. Our Myanmar client company is also able to officially employ XYZ B.V.’s market research staff and pay their salaries after reimbursement. Personnel leasing and recruitment services are legal in Myanmar and also provide full payroll services and employment-related tax advice.
Given this situation, we advised XYZ B.V. to send details about their staff to the local company so it can issue official visa documents that enable its employees to obtain their business visa, make arrangements for employment, payment of salaries and other legal requirements. During this process, the foreign staff will remain under the control and supervision of XYZ B.V.
Later, after MIC has granted XYZ B.V. its company registration, it can apply for a work permit at the Directorate of Labour under the Ministry of Labour, and a stay permit and visa to the Immigration and National Registration Department from the Ministry of Immigration and Population. Once these permits are approved, XYZ B.V. can issue invitation letters and other required documents needed for their staff to obtain a business visa.
In the next case study we will advise the XYZ B.V. about renting real estate.
Strohal Legal Group (SLG), founded by Dr Theodor Strohal in 1979, is a law firm offering highly personalized services specializing in international and cross border business. SLG enjoys a well-established reputation across Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. In Myanmar, SLG provides services under the name U Min Sein & Strohal Associates Law Firm.
The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and don’t necessarily reflect Myanmar Business Today’s editorial opinion.