Laos Visa Requirements – Application, Exemption and fees

Laos visa requirements are pretty straightforward. The country has become a popular tourist destination over the last decade. As a result, it is now home to some of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful natural landscapes. In addition, it offers visitors a unique culture and friendly locals.

Laos is located in South East Asia and shares borders with Thailand, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Its capital city is Vientiane. The official language is Lao, and English is widely spoken.

The requirements for a Laotian visa are not very different from other countries in the region, but there are a few things that visitors should be aware of before they travel. This article will outline the Laos visa requirements, application process, exemption rules, and fees.

What is Laos Visa?

Laos Visa is an essential travel authorization document requested by Laos immigration authorities for all foreign citizens visiting Laos. Applicants for the Laos visa should apply at the Laos embassy or consulate in their home country.

Alternatively, applicants can apply for an online visa, in which case you will need to apply online to receive your visa through email.

What are the Different Types of Laos Visa?

Laos visas are classified into three types. Citizens of visa-free nations are included in the first category for a Laos visa. Laos is visa-free in around fifteen countries. This means that citizens of these nations can enter Laos with simply a valid passport. Then, depending on their citizenship, they can stay in Laos for 14 to 30 days.

Meanwhile, citizens of all nations are eligible for a visa on arrival under the second category if they are traveling for tourism purposes. If you are qualified for a visa on arrival, you can also apply for a Laos eVisa to streamline the process.

However, if you are not eligible for either of the first two kinds of Laos visas, you must go to a Laotian embassy to apply for a regular visa.

Visa-free Countries for Laos visa

For travelers from most countries, a visa is necessary to enter Laos. However, there are a few exceptions. Only citizens of the countries listed below are exempt from visa requirements:

  • Brunei (for 14 days)
  • Cambodia (for 30 days)
  • Indonesia (for 30 days)
  • Philippines (for 30 days)
  • Russia (for 30 days)
  • Singapore (for 30 days)
  • Japan (for 15 days)
  • Luxembourg (for 15 days)
  • Malaysia (for 30 days)
  • Mongolia (for 30 days)
  • Myanmar (for 14 days)
  • South Korea (for 30 days)
  • Switzerland (for 15 days)
  • Thailand (for 30 days)
  • Vietnam (for 30 days)

Please Note: Citizens of the countries mentioned above who wish to stay in Laos for more than 14-15 days must apply for a visa online or in person.

Who Is Eligible for a Laos Visa on Arrival?

Generally, almost anybody who is not visa-exempt can apply for a visa on arrival in Laos. However, only nationals of the following countries listed below are eligible for the VOA and must instead apply for a visa at an Embassy:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Bangladesh
  • Eswatini
  • Ghana
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Ivory Coast
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Congo
  • Congo
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Mozambique
  • Pakistan
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Nauru
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Suriname
  • Syria
  • Tonga
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Visa Requirements for Laos

Laos is a pleasant and inviting country that does not require visas in advance for travelers from certain countries. However, if you have to get a visa, there are a few things to consider. The following are the visa requirements for Laos:

  • Your passport must be valid for at least the next six months.
  • The visa application form for Laos. You can get it online if you apply at an embassy. You can acquire the application form on the plane or at the checkpoint/airport if you apply for the visa on arrival.
  • Two current passport-size photographs with a white backdrop and measurements of 4 cm x 6 cm.
  • Proof of Laos accommodation, such as a hotel reservation.
  • You must prove that you have the financial resources to finance your stay.
  • A return ticket or an onward ticket.
  • Payment of the visa fee for Laos.
  • Any additional paperwork is required by the Lao consulate services, depending on the reason for travel.

How to Apply for Laos Visa?

Depending on your nationality, you can apply for a Laos visa in one of three ways:

  • After arriving. Nearly all ports of entry.
  • Online. Through the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs official website for eVisa issuance.
  • At a Laos embassy or consulate. Those who are not qualified may apply in person or online.

Application Process at the  Embassy

To apply for a Laos visa at an embassy, you must do the following:

  • Contact the closest consulate or embassy.
  • Please complete the online Laos visa application form, then submit it with the necessary paperwork. You can find a Laos visa application on the embassy or consulate’s website.
  • As directed by the Lao consulate services, you can submit your application in person or by mail.
  • Pay the visa fee for Laos.

Please note:

The application process for a visa differs depending on where you apply, so you must first contact the Laos embassy or consulate. The diplomatic embassies of Laos are listed here.

You should apply at the nearest Lao embassy/consulate if you need a Laos visa. You cannot obtain a visa on arrival or an online visa. Besides, you want to stay longer than the VOA and eVisa allow.

Applying online for a Laos visa

You can also obtain a Laos visa online if you are qualified for an arrival-only visa (eVisa). Through the official website found here, you can apply for an eVisa:

  • Fill out the online application form.
  • Include the following documents: a recent photograph of yourself with a white background and a 46 cm size; the front page of your passport; the bio page of your passport.

Additional documents may be required.

  • Pay the application fee online. Depending on your nationality, the fee ranges from USD 31 to USD 45.
  • Allow time for the visa application to be processed. Unless there is an issue with your application, this takes about three working days.
  • Get the eVisa Approval Letter. You will receive it via email. You have 60 days after receiving the approval letter to use it.

When you arrive in Laos, proceed to the designated immigration area for eVisas. Display your passport and eVisa approval. They will then be reviewed by immigration officers and grant you entry.

You can only enter Laos using your Laos eVisa at the following checkpoints:

  • International Airport of Wattay
  • Vientiane’s Thai Friendship Bridge I
  • Savannakhet’s Thai Friendship Bridge II
  • Luang Prabang International Airport is located in the city of Luang Prabang.
  • Champasack’s Pakse International Airport

Notes:

The Lao eVisa can only be relevant for tourism. Therefore, you must contact a Lao embassy/consulate for longer-term visas. In a single application, you can apply for up to five people.

Applying for a Visa on Arrival in Laos

When you arrive in Laos, you must proceed to the visa on arrival issuance counter and provide the following documents:

  • It’s your passport. It must be valid for at least six months more.
  • The Laos Visa on Arrival Form is available at the airport or plane.
  • Evidence of lodging in Laos. For example, a hotel reservation.
  • Two current passport-sized photographs. Dimensions: 4 cm x 6 cm
  • The visa fee is payable in cash (in US dollars). Depending on your country, the visa fee in Laos ranges from USD 30 to USD 45.
  • Evidence proving you have enough money to endure the duration of your Laos vacation.
  • A round-trip ticket or a guaranteed return ticket.
  • A visa/ticket to the next location (if applicable).

After submitting the documents, you must wait for the visa to be processed. They will call your name after around 15 minutes when it is ready. After that, you will be granted a visa for 30 days.

Cost? of the Visa

The visa fee for Laos varies depending on the applicant’s nationality. A single-entry 30-day visa costs between USD 31 and USD 45.

Can a Laos Visa be Extended?

The Immigration Division Office in the province where you currently reside, or the Immigration Department in Vientiane, is where you can extend your Laos visa.

You must apply for a visa extension before your current visa expires.

You can only extend your 30-day tourist visa twice, for a total stay of 90 days. The extension charge is 20,000 Lao Kip (about. USD 21) plus a service fee of 25,000 Lao Kip (approx. USD 27).

See AlsoImmigrate to Canada from Laos – How to apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the duration of a Laos visa?

The Lao tourist visa is only valid for three days. If you apply online, you have 60 days to enter Laos using the visa approval letter.

How much does a Laos visa cost?

The visa charge for a Laos visa ranges from USD 30 to USD 45, depending on your nationality. Proof that you have enough money to last the duration of your trip to Laos. A ticket for onward travel or a guaranteed return ticket.

Can I get a Laos visa on arrival?

Yes, Laos visas are available upon arrival at most major airports. A valid visa on arrival for Laos is issued as a single entry travel document that allows qualified citizens to stay in the country for up to 30 days.

Can I apply for a Laos visa online?

Yes, you can apply for a Laos visa online. The process is simple and takes just a few minutes to complete.

Conclusion

To summarize, the visa requirements for Laos are straightforward; however, the application process might be time-consuming. There are a few exceptions to the visa requirement for travelers. Visitors from Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Russia, and other countries can enter Laos for up to 30 days without a visa. A tourist visa is necessary for visits of more than 30 days or for citizens of certain other countries who do not have a valid visa granted by Lao authorities.

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