Laos Visa: All things you need to know

If you are planning a trip to Laos, the first thing comes into your mind is how to obtain a visa to Laos which is required for most foreign visitors, including children and infants. At present, fortunately, there are several options of Laotian visa which give great flexibility in making travel arrangements as visitors do not need to plan their visa ahead. According to the policy for Laos visa, the visa fee also depends on the nationality of passport holders. Here in this post, more information about visa of Laos will be provided. Check it out with Laos Travel!

Laos Visa On Arrival

Getting a Visa On Arrival for Laos is very convenient without waiting too long. The visa fee will be varied depending on the nationalities, between US$ 30-US$ 45/person.

Who can get Laos Visa on Arrival?

Certain countries in Africa and the Middle East must apply for visas beforehand while most others can just get visas on arrival by show up at the airport / border, fill in visa application form, pay visa fee, wait for your turn, and receive a 30-day tourist visa on arrival.

Visa Exemption will be applied for the following countries:
+ 30 days: Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia, Russian, South Korea.
+ 15 days: Japan, Luxembourg, Switzerland
+ 14 days: Brunei, Myanmar
And holders of diplomatic and/or service category passports do not require a visa Laos up to 30 days (unless otherwise noted)

laos visa

Demo Visa to Laos

Who Can’t get Laos Visa on Arrival?

Nationals of the following countries are not allowed to obtain a visa on arrival and must apply for visas beforehand instead: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, DR Congo, Eswatini, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Monzambique, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tonga, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Laos Visa On Arrival Requirements

The requirements for a Laos visa on arrival are as follows:
– Original valid passport for at least six months from the date of arrival in Laos with enough 2 blank pages (endorsement pages are not considered blank);
– A completed visa application form signed by the applicant (available at visa window at Lao ports of entry or given before landing if you are arriving by plane). If you fill the visa form in advance, you don’t have to wait too long at the last of the line. Otherwise you can also download Laos VISA FORM here.
– 2 passport sized photos (light background, no longer than 6 months) (*);
– Visa fee (in cash only, USD or Thai Baht)

(*) In case the traveler does not prepare a photo in advance, there is service for this at the customs with an additional fee (US$ 1-2) for scanning the photo from the passport. For those who wish to visit Laos, please be aware that there will be additional charges for the visa if you arrive between 6:00 and 8:00 in the morning, on a weekend, or on a national holiday.

How to Get a Visa on Arrival for Laos?

To get a visa on arrival for Laos, the traveler should have all of the required documentation listed as above.

Look for the window marked “On Arrival”. Handle all required documents for visa on arrival and pay the visa fee to finalize the process.  The cost of Laos Visa varies according to nationality of applicant from US$ 30-45/person, so please check update of the price list which is on display at the visa counter.

Wait for your turn until the name of traveler will be called when their application has been reviewed get the visa stamped on the passport.

Be sure to get entry stamp on arrival and exit stamp before leaving. Double check the stamp date for your travel’s safety.

Useful Tips

  • Hotel booking & Return ticket may be required to show (not always if you traveling overland). It is wise to produce an itinerary from a travel agent to avoid any problems.
  • Currency restrictions for entry or exit: The import or export of local currency is not permitted. Over 2,000 USD or equivalent in foreign currency, the declaration at customs can be applied.
  • Few nationalities (from particular African countries like Sudan, Somalia, etc. or Asian countries like Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.) can be asked for security deposit (from USD 500) at costumes & will return on the day of departure. Otherwise the entry won’t be allowed.

Main Ports of Entry in Laos for Visa on Arrival

Here are the main ports of entry in Laos where foreign visitors from eligible countries will be able to obtain a visa on arrival to enter Laos.

At international airports of Laos

  • Wattay International Airport in Vientiane Capital;
  • Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang Province;
  • Pakse International Airport in Champasak Province;
  • Savannakhet International Airport in Savannakhet Province.

More details of Laos airports, read here

At Border Checkpoints
There are a number of land border checkpoints where allow to get a visa on arrival for Laos, including:

Thailand-Laos Checkpoints
There are 6 routes across the Thai border into Laos as follows:

  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I: Nong Khai to Vientiane;
  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II: Mukdahan to Savannakhet;
  • Friendship Bridge III: Nakhon Phanom to Thakhek;
  • Chiang Khong – Houayxai, Chiang Rai to Bokeo Province;
  • Chong Mek – Vang Tao, Ubol Ratchathani to Champasack Province;
  • Nakaxeng – Kaenthao, Loei to Sayabouly Province.
Visa on arrival counter at Luang Prabang International Airport

Visa On Arrival counter to get the visa stamped in your passport before entering Laos.

Vietnam-Laos Checkpoints

  • Tay Trang – Sop Hun; Dien Bien to Phongsaly Province;
  • Na Meo – Namsoi; Thanh Hoa to Huaphanh Province;
  • Nam Can – Nam Khan; Nghe An to Xieng Khuang Province;
  • Cau Treo – Nam Phao; Ha Tinh to Bolikhamxai Province;
  • Lao Bao – Dansavanh, Quang tri to Savannakhet Province;
  • Bo Y – Phou Keua, Kon Tum to Attapeu Province.

Cambodia-Laos Checkpoints

  • Trapeang Kriel (old name: Dong Kralor) – Nong Nokkhien (old name: Veun Kham), Stung Treng to Champasak Province.

China-Laos Checkpoints

  • Mohan – Boten, Yunnan to Luang Namtha Province.
  • Mengkan – Lantouy, Yunnan to Phongsaly Province (for Chinese and Laotian citizens only)

 Laos Visa at Embassy

According to notice No. 1232 issued on 1 October 2009, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR, nationals on the list of those Who Can’t Get Laos Visa On Arrival need to obtain their visas at Lao Embassies or Lao Consulates abroad before entering Laos. The visa fee and processing time vary depending on the nationality of applicant.

However, there is an exception for those nationals who are on official visits and holding a guarantee from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR.

For traveling via border crossings, obtaining a pre-visa before trip will also work well as it is save much time at the immigration costumes. For other border checkpoints that don’t issue Visa On Arrival, a pre-visa is a must before traveling. Visitors are advised to recheck the information for Visa On Arrival, especially at border gates for smooth trip.

Here are the List of Embassies and Consulates of Laos around the world:

OrderCountry nameMission
1AustriaEmbassy of Lao PDR in Vienna
2AustraliaEmbassy of Lao PDR in Canberra
3BelgiumEmbassy of Lao PDR in Brussels
4BruneiEmbassy of Lao PDR in Bandar Seri Begawan
5CambodiaEmbassy of Lao PDR in Phnom Penh
Consulate of Lao PDR in Stung Treng
6ChinaEmbassy of Lao PDR in Beijing
Consulate Generals of Lao PDR in Kunming, Changsha, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Nanning, Shanghai
Branch Office of Lao PDR in Jinghong
7CubaEmbassy of Lao PDR in Havana
8FranceEmbassy of Lao PDR in Paris
9GermanyEmbassy of Lao PDR in Berlin
10IndiaEmbassy of Lao PDR in New Delhi
11IndonesiaEmbassy of Lao PDR in Jakarta
12JapanEmbassy of Lao PDR in Tokyo
Honorary Consulate of Lao PDR in Nagoya
13KuwaitEmbassy of Lao PDR in Kuwait City
14MalaysiaEmbassy of Lao PDR  in Kuala Lumpur
15MongoliaEmbassy of Lao PDR in Ulan Bator
16MyanmarEmbassy of Lao PDR  in Yangon
17North KoreaEmbassy of Lao PDR in Pyongyang
18PhilippinesEmbassy of Lao PDR  in Manila
19PolandEmbassy of Lao PDR in Warsaw
20RussiaEmbassy of Lao PDR in Moscow
21SingaporeEmbassy of Lao PDR in Singapore
22South KoreaEmbassy of Lao PDR  in Seoul
23SwedenEmbassy of Lao PDR  in Stockholm
24SwitzerlandPermanent Mission of Lao PDR to the United Nations in Geneva
25ThailandEmbassy of Lao PDR in Bangkok
Consulate of Lao PDR in Khon Kaen
26United KingdomEmbassy of Lao PDR in London
27United States of AmericaEmbassy of Lao PDR in Washington DC
Permanent Mission of Lao PDR to the United Nations  in New York
28VietnamEmbassy of Lao PDR in Hanoi
Consulate General of Lao PDR in Ho Chi Minh City
Consulate General of Lao PDR in Danang

Laos Electronic Visa (E-Visa)

Although the Visa On Arrival at the borders give more flexibility in making travel arrangements as visitors do not need to plan their visa ahead, it may occur long lines at the port of entry and travelers must carry with them all the relevant documentation and money to cover the visa on spot. Therefore, the Laos (E-Visa) eliminates the need for this complicated application process upon arrival.

By applying online, you can submit all the required documents and information and pay the visa fees from your home or office. In additional, you can use eVisa special lane at arrival port to avoid standing in the long queue at the Visa on Arrival lane.

laos e visa

E-Visa is very convenient and easy to get well-preparation before traveling to Laos as well as to save time in long queue upon your arrival at Laos’ port of entry.

From July 2019, the Laos government has officially launched The E-Visa Laos which is an electronic travel authorization, allowing citizens from 162 eligible countries (list at https://laoevisa.gov.la) who can apply online (non-refund).

Lao eVisa can be used to enter 5 international ports:

  • Wattay International Airport (Vientiane)
  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I (Vientiane)
  • Luang Prabang International Airport (Luang Prabang)
  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II (Savannakhet)
  • Pakse International Airport (Champasak)

There are 3 simple steps to apply at https://laoevisa.gov.la as following:

  • Fill the application form;
  • Pay your fees with secured payment method (visa fee vary depending on the holder’s nationality);
  • Download the eVisa approval from your email

Important notes for E-Visa Laos

  • An eVisa is processed within 03 working days (*) after receiving the completed application and full eVisa fee. You will get the reference number which can be used to check on your visa status;
    (*) Please note that your application will be proceeded in the same day if you apply in the morning session. If you apply in the afternoon session, then your application will be proceeded in the next day of the Lao local time (GMT+7).
  • An eVisa is valid for maximum of 60 days after receiving the Approval Letter with the Stay Permit of eVisa is 30 days;
  • E-Visa is applied for Tourist Visa, Single Entry only; and this is non-refund visa after processing;
  • When your eVisa application is approved, an Approval Letter will be sent to your email address that you informed at the time of registration. The E-Visa can be printed in black and white as long as it is legible to the Immigration Officer, especially the QR Code. One copy is enough to present to the Immigration Officer;
  • Applicants are responsible for the correctness of all information submitted during the application process. You cannot modify anything after submitting the documents. If the information on your E-visa is not correct or E-visa application is rejected, you need to reapply using the Online service and re-pay the visa as original. Otherwise, please contact through email [email protected] for more details.

Laos Visa Extension

If the unexpected occurs and your plan change or you simply wish to stay longer in Laos, it is possible for you to extend your visa at the immigration office in Vientiane (*), which costs 20,000kip (round US$2,50) per day in case you apply before or on its expiry date. However, if you do it after your visa expires, you will be fined for US$10 per day for the days you over stayed.

(*) Vientiane’s Immigration Office is on Lane Xang Avenue. Opening hours: 8:00-16:00 (closed at lunchtime from 12.00pm – 1.00pm) from Monday to Friday, but closed for applications on Friday afternoon.

There are also visa extension offices in Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Pakse.

Requirements for Visa Extension

  • Your original valid passport;
  • One passport sized photo.
  • Visa extension fee.

This process is straight forward, so just fill out the application form then submit together with your passport, photo and pay the fees. If no increasing issue, your visa can be ready the same day. This option could work well if you only plan to stay for a few more days.

You can do it on your own or via travel agent or specialist provider to do your Lao visa extension for you. If due to any reason that you could not make the visa extension for a few more days extra at the immigration office, you might just stay as long as you prepare to pay the fine (US$10 per day) which will be collected on your departure.

For more information that you still concern about Laos Visa, please feel absolutely free to contact one of our Travel Consultants for instant support and worthy travel advisory.

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