Guide on how to apply for a Laos Residency Permit

Do you want to work and reside in Laos comfortably? Then, you need to know how to apply for a Laos Residency Permit. Fortunately, that is what we will be discussing shortly.

Applicants that want to stay longer in Laos than the ninety days permissible for tourists must apply for a residence permit. Laos is a landlocked nation situated in Southeast Asia. The country borders China and Vietnam to the north, Thailand to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Myanmar (Burma) to the west. Laos has a population of over 11 million people.

Requirements for obtaining a Laos Residency Permit vary according to different nationalities. This blog post will guide you on applying for a Laos Residency Permit without a glitch.

About the Laos Residence Permit

If you are anxious to stay in Laos for an extended period, you may want to consider applying for a residency permit. This document will allow you to live and work in the country without constantly leaving and returning. However, there are a few requirements that Applicants must meet to apply for a residency permit, so be sure to follow this guide carefully before making your request.

To obtain this permit, you must have resided in Laos for ten straight years and must pledge to live in Laos for a minimum of ten months yearly. In addition, expatriates that have operated a stable business in Laos for a minimum of five years with an investment value of at least US$500,000 are also eligible for the Laos residency permit.

Benefits of Acquiring a Laos Residency Permit

By obtaining a Laos Residency permit, you’ll have the confidence of a guaranteed residence in the country. Therefore, you’ll be able to live as freely as you wish. Furthermore, it’ll help you to reduce your taxes as you’ll be able to save on it. Lastly, it’ll make it easier for you to invest in the country. Since the Laos economy is developing, you can invest in different sectors of the economy apart from real estate.

Eligibility Criteria for a Laos Residency Permit

Applicants that want to obtain a Laos Residency Permit must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be eighteen years of age or more when applying for this type of permit
  • Applicants should be able to provide evidence of their social and cultural integration, knowledge, and respect for Lao traditions.
  • You must provide evidence that you’re in good health
  • It would help to not be under prosecution by the court
  • It will help if you reside in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic continuously for ten years

Requirements for Laos Residence Permit

Before gathering the following documents for your residence permit, you must have a relative in Laos willing to stand as a guarantor for your application. The relative must also be in good health and have no criminal record. Here are the documents you need:

#1. Residence Application Form

You can download the Residence Application form from the Immigration Department’s website. It must be filled and signed by the applicant to be eligible for the residence visa. It will help if you input all the necessary information before you sign it.

#2. Passport photograph

Two passport photographs are part of Laos’s residency permit requirements. It should be recent photographs of 4 by 6 inches in a colored format. The applicant must take it on a white background, visibly shot without having a face cap or headgear.

#3. Valid international passport

A Laos stay permit applicant should possess an international travel document valid for six months from when you intend to return to her home country. There should be a blank page for the visa stamp and a space for an entry and exit stamp.

#4. Travel health insurance

Part of the visa requirements for UK citizens for Laos is that applicants should provide proof of health insurance to cover their health pending the time they will stay in Laos. It’ll help applicants get medical attention in emergencies throughout their stay in the country.

#5. Medical Certificate

Furthermore, the applicant must provide a medical certificate issued by an embassy-accredited clinic. It’ll help to ensure that you have no illness that will threaten the citizens or residents of Laos. But, most importantly, you’ll have to undergo another round of local medical tests when you enter Laos.

#6. Police clearance certificate

Similarly, a Police clearance certificate is a vital Laos residence permit requirement. Please note that some foreign nationals must provide a good conduct certificate to obtain this document. Furthermore, your guarantor can get it from Lao authorities at the Supreme People’s Court on Khou Vieng Road.

#7. Civil Certificate

Guarantors that want to sponsor family members should provide a marriage or birth certificate. The certificate will be authenticated by the guarantor’s embassy in their home country.

How to apply for a Laos Residency Permit

Applying for a Laos Residency Permit is a straightforward process. Here are the following steps you need to take:

Step one: Contact the Laos embassy.

The first thing you need to do while applying for a Laos stay permit is to research the nearest Laos embassy in your home country. Once you do that, you’ll get the list of all the Laos residence visa requirements.

Step two: Prepare your document.

The next step is to prepare all the documents you’ll need for your application. Try to make photocopies of the original documents if you’ll need them while submitting them at the consulate.

Step three: Book an interview with the embassy

After finding someone who’ll act as a guarantor living in Laos, you should book an appointment with the embassy. Please note that you should be punctual and take along any necessary documents. The officer will ask basic questions about your personal information and why you want to reside in the country.

Step four: Pay your visa fee.

Furthermore, the Laos residence permit costs $35. Applicants must pay the fee at the consulate either by cash or card.

Step five: Wait for your visa approval.

The final step is for the applicants to wait for the permit approval. The processing time for the Laos Residency permit is three months. So be patient while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers your application. Once it’s approved, you can be on your way to the beautiful city of Laos.

Applying for an extension of my Laos residence permit

You can apply for an extension of your Laos Residency Permit at the Immigration Department in Vientiane or the immigration Division Office of the province you’re residing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Laos a safe place to live?

Laos is a safe place to live and work as locals are helpful and polite to expatriates. It’s part of the safest tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. However, it’s advisable to beware of low-level crimes such as scams and pickpockets. It’s also essential to receive medical vaccinations against diseases such as Hepatitis E, Hepatitis B, dengue fever, tuberculosis, and so on. Lastly, boil your water in Laos if you want to take tap water.

Can foreigners buy property in Laos?

Expatriates can’t purchase land or property in Laos without buying in the name of a Laos citizen. The state is the owner of every piece of land in Laos. The only thing a foreigner can do is to lease land for a period of up to thirty years. Please note that an extension of such a lease is rare.

How do I get a work visa for Laos?

Are you interested in working in Laos? Then you need to apply for a Laos work visa at a consulate before entering the country. It’s valid for a year, and you can apply for an extension upon the permit’s expiry. The Laos work visa requirements include a job offer, sponsorship letter, valid passport, and proof of travel arraignment. The processing of this type of Laos visa takes three business days.

Where do foreigners live in Vientiane?

If you wish to stay in an area where foreigners live in Vientiane, then you should go to the Sisattanak district. You’ll find them walking around the streets of the quaint streets of the community. Apart from that, many foreign consulates are built in the area. Foreigners love the site because it’s a laidback destination and offers a calming view of the riverfront. In addition, foreigners used to ride a bicycle around the city.

Can I get married in Laos?

If you intend to travel to Laos and get married as a foreigner in Laos, it’s not allowed. According to the Lao Government regulations, two foreigners can’t wed each other. Apart from that, you can’t have sexual relationships with a Lao citizen you have not legally married. However, if you want to marry a Lao citizen, there are some requirements you must fulfill to acquire a Laos marriage certificate.


In conclusion, if you are interested in immersing yourself in Laos and would like to live and work in the country, a residency permit is your best option. You need to take a few steps to apply for one, and the process can be done quickly and easily with a qualified professional’s help. So if you’re ready to explore Laos and its beautiful culture, start planning your journey today!

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