From the vibrant night markets and magnificent waterfalls of Luang Prabang to the breathtaking mountain sunsets of Vang Vieng, it is astounding how much beauty this country has to offer. The Laos embassy visa gives its holder greater privileges than a tourist visa, even though they are not equivalent.
Laos, one of the most stunning nations in Southeast Asia, sits near Thailand and is surrounded by hilly terrain. And beyond your official assignment, you will have more than enough fun living in Laos. In addition, you will have the most fun-filled visit of a lifetime because of its distinct tribal culture, monasteries, architecture, and way of life.
Are you excited to begin the visa application process at the Laos embassy? Follow along as we reveal the following articles’ fundamental specifications for a Laos embassy visa application.
Laos embassy visa
The Laos embassy visa, a type of Laos official visa, allows a foreign ambassador to enter the territories of Laos for an official mission. It is a type of Laos official visa that only ambassadors of foreign embassies in located Laos are eligible to hold.
The embassy visa, like the diplomatic visa, offers immunity to the ambassador and grants them access that other Laos visas do not. This visa is not available only to the ambassadors but to their family members who wish to accompany them on their trip. Without the embassy visa, the foreign ambassador cannot enter Laos to execute their official duty.
Because of the critical position of an ambassador, it is paramount that the government official who holds this position should be a person of good reputation and conduct.
Travel documents needed for acquiring a Laos embassy visa
Below are the basic requirements for a Laos embassy visa;
#1. A copy of an international passport
An international passport is a requirement that must be present for a Laos embassy visa application. Laos embassy visa is a long-stay visa. Regardless the nationality, you need an international passport even if your visit is for a while.
The acceptable passport must fulfill the following requirements;
- Valid for six months beyond the applicant’s travel date
- Issued within the past ten years
- Must have at least two unfilled pages.
#2. One copy of civil passport photographs
The optimally acceptable civil passport must not have lasted more than six months. No headgear are allowed in the photos except for religious reasons. The dimension and size of the image must follow the requirements stipulated in the Laos visa application.
#3. Laos embassy visa application form
The application form for the Laos embassy visa is on the immigration website. Fill in your entries accordingly and do not mix or miss out on any information as it can lead to delay or rejection of your visa application. To register an offline application, visit the nearest Laos embassy for the visa form and application.
After filling out the visa application form, print it out and append your signature before submitting it.
The parents of minors below 18 years are required to sign it on their behalf.
#4. Appointment letter
The officials must present the appointment letter from the head of state. The letter should also state their office of appointment and personal information. It should also be signed and stamped.
#5. A diplomatic note
The head of state writes the diplomatic letter on behalf of the national ambassador addressing it to the one in charge of the Laos embassy in their country. The letter should contain the name of the ambassador. It should also indicate their office of appointment and other personal information.
#6. A written request
The embassy in Laos receives the letter and writes a letter officially inviting the ambassador to Laos. The letter permits the representative to continue with their application.
Additional Laos embassy visa application requirements
#1. Travel itinerary
The travel itinerary is a detailed arrangement of the applicant’s travel. It is advisable to wait until the visa is out before proceeding with the travel plans. The itinerary should account for the applicant’s travel date, flight ticket, and hotel reservation.
#2. Proof of financial sufficiency
The applicant has nothing to do with financial sufficiency since they are on an official mission. The people responsible for their finance and sustenance are the government. However, if you are traveling with a family member, you should present your bank statement.
#3. Proof of accommodation
The government sending you on the ambassadorial mission is responsible for your accommodation expenses. The applicant has nothing to worry about their accommodation.
#4. Resume (Curriculum Vitae)
The applicant must submit their CV and ensure it captures their qualifications and recent work experiences.
#5. Travel health insurance.
The least acceptable insurance coverage is €30,000 and must be from a reputable insurance company.
What are the steps to applying for a Laos embassy visa?
If you are eligible for a Laos embassy visa, below are the necessary steps;
- Immediately after you receive your appointment letter, schedule an interview with the embassy to find out what documents you need to provide.
- Go to the embassy website to download and fill out your application form. If you do not feel like doing it online, go to the embassy, collect the form, fill it out and send it back to the embassy. However, whichever application method you resort to, ensure to enter the correct information to avoid disqualification.
- The representative does not pay the application fee because the government is responsible for every incurred expense. That is to say that the embassy visa application is always free for diplomats and officials going on official duties.
However, if there is a need to pay the application fee, it is the government’s sole responsibility.
- After cross-checking your entries to correct mistakes, click the submit button to submit your application. In the case of an offline application, you send the application form back to the embassy. But you must apply in person.
- Immediately after the embassy has confirmed the reception of your application, the next thing to do is to schedule an interview with the embassy. You are to attend the interview in person as it is a critical step in your visa approval.
- After the interview, the embassy will contact you. Whether your application is successful or disqualified, the embassy will communicate the latest development in your visa processing. If there is a need for additional information, the embassy will also notify you.
Things to have in mind when traveling to Laos
#1. Keep in mind that Laos has a lot of beautiful places where you can relax and feed your eyes and mind
Such places include;
- The Vieng Xai Cave city close to Sam Nua near the Vietnamese border.
- The Great Stupa (Pha That Luang). It is a 148-foot gold-covered stupa (dome-shaped Buddhist shrine) considered the most valuable monument in Laos.
- The Buddha Park. A sculpture garden full of giant Buddha statues.
- The waterfalls in the Bolaven Plateau, The plateau in Southern Laos is part of a crater formed from an ancient volcano in the region.
- The Elephant Conservation Center in Sainyabuli. Visiting the conservation centre is the best and most responsible way to see elephants without harming them.
- The Phou Hin Poun Conservation Area. The entire conservation area is full of unique species of flora and fauna.
#2. Cost of living in Laos
Accommodation in Laos is not expensive. You can get dorm rooms at a price between 5-9 USD (about 45,000-80,000 LAK) and a private room at 13-20 USD (about 115,000-175,000 LAK) per night. Free wifi is also available in almost every hostel.
If you intend to splurge money for more comfortable accommodation, expect to pay above 13 USD (110,000 LAK) for budget hotels and guesthouses with double rooms and 46 USD (400,000 LAK) for a four-star hotel with a pool.
Food in the region is more expensive since it is landlocked. You should budget about 5 USD or more per meal for fast food and around 11 USD at restaurants.
#3. Moving around Laos
Getting around Laos can sometimes be a challenge as the roads are poor. Moreso, you will have to navigate several mountain passes whenever you want to get anywhere.
Because of the poor road connections, transportation sometimes is not so cheap. Local public transport costs $0.25 and above depending on the distance. The most common way to get between cities is through the bus. Sometimes you have to lay ticket prices for up to $15. There are also plenty of VIP buses you can board for your movement around Laos. These buses are also air-conditioned and super comfortable. For the VIP buses, ticket prices range from $15-23 per trip.
But the ticket costs more if you travel from one town to another. The cost of transportation also depends on the distance of our journey. Ticket prices can range from $38-48 per trip.
#4. The best time to visit Laos
The best time to visit Laos is between October to April. During this time, the weather is consistently warm and dry. However, the temperature of the mountain areas is usually cool all year round compared to other parts of the country.
#5. Staying safe in Laos
Although violent crime against travelers is infrequent in Load, pickpocketing will be your biggest concern when you get to the country. The most important safety advice for every traveler is to purchase valuable travel insurance. Travel insurance provides comprehensive protection should anything go wrong during your stay. It will protect you against theft, illness, injury, and cancellations.
Furthermore, make sure to carry along essential identification documents everywhere you go. Also, ensure to keep your close.
In addition to the above, when you go out for hiking or sightseeing, always stay on the marked trail. Some places, particularly places around the Plain of Jars, are under strict prohibition because of unexploded landmines. Avoid getting tangled up in drugs and sex scandals as the country is strict with punishments relating to the crimes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can a Laos embassy visa last?
The Laos embassy visa is valid if the ambassadorial function is not complete. The Laos embassy visa becomes invalid at the termination of your appointment.
How long can it take to get a Laos embassy visa?
Getting the Laos embassy visa does not take much time in as much as you follow the necessary steps. At most, it takes about 24 hours. However, it can take time if the embassy finds it hard to match or verify the information you supplied.
Which countries grant visa-free entry to Laos passport holders?
According to the Guide passport ranking index, the Lao passport occupies the 95th rank globally and grants visa-free access to only 49 countries. However, visa-free privilege is only for a limited time, usually a short stay. If you want to extend your stay, apply for a Lao visa.
Does Laos issue visas on arrival?
Yes, the state of Laos issues visas on arrival to eligible citizens of foreign nations. However, all visitors must hold a passport that can last for a minimum of six months beyond their departure date.
The Laos embassy visa grants the holder some level of immunity and privileges. However, immunity is not a mandate to act without caution. Applying for the stamp of approval is not a herculean task as long as you know what you need and should do.