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Laos Visa - Easy Steps to Get Visa to Laos
  • By Liz

1. Visa Exemption

Visa Exemption

Visa exemption in Laos

We will first touch on the visa exemption policies of Laos since they have a very generous list of exemption. The people who hold the passport of 15 countries in the following list are granted visa-free access to the country up to maximum of 30-day for tourism purposes. Your passports need to be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your departure.

  • 30-day: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Russia ,Singapore ,South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam
  • 15-day: Japan, Luxembourg, Switzerland
  • 14-day: Brunei, Myanmar

Residents from the countries not listed above are required to apply for Laos visa. There are two methods to do this: visa on arrival and e-visa. Both of these can be quite easy and convenient to do.

2. Visa on Arrival

Visa on Arrival

Visa on arrival in Laos

► Travelers from all the countries are able to do visa on arrival in Laos. The tourist visa stay lasts up to 30 days and can be obtained at 27 ports of entry to Laos. The following passport holders are not approved to do visa on arrival: 

Afghanistan Nauru
Algeria Niger
Bangladesh Nigeria
Burundi Pakistan
Cameroon Senegal
Congo Sierra Leone
Cote d'Ivoire Sri Lanka
Ghana Suriname
Guinea Syria
Guinea Bissau Swaziland
Jordan Tonga
Lesotho Turkey
Liberia Zambia
Libya Zimbabwe

If you are a resident from one of the countries above, the only way for you to obtain a visa on arrival is through an official mean and with a special permission from the Foreign Ministry of Laos.

► Visa on arrival can be obtained at these following ports of entry:

International Airport 

  • Wattay International Airport in Vientiane Capital.
  • Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang Province.
  • Pakse Internatioanl Airport in Champasack Province.
  • Savannakhet International Airport in Savannakhet Province.
  • Border Checkpoints between China - Laos 
  • Mohan - Botene, Yunnan to Luang Namtha Province.

Border Checkpoints between Thailand - Laos

  • Chiangkhong - Houixay, Chiang Rai to Bokeo Province.
  • Nakaxeng - Kaenthao, Loei to Sayabouly Province.
  • Houi Koln – Nam Ngeun, Nan to Sayabouly Province.
  • Lao - Thai Friendship Bridge I, Nongkhay - Vientiane Capital.
  • Lao - Thai Friendship Bridge II, Moukdahan - Savannakhet Province.
  • Lao - Thai Friendship Bridge III, Nakorn Phanom - Khammouane Province.
  • Chongmek - Vangtao, Ubol Ratchathani to Champasack Province.

Border Checkpoints between Vietnam - Laos

  • Pang Hok - Tay Trang, Dien Bien Phu to Muang Khua and Luang Prabang.
  • Nameo - Banleui, Thanh Hoa to Huaphanh Province.
  • Namkan - Nam Can, Nghe An to Xieng Khouang Province.
  • Keoneua - Nampao (Lak Sao), Ha Tinh to Bolikhamxay Province.
  • Lao Bao - Dansavanh, Quang Tri to Savannakhet Province.

Border Checkpoints between Cambodia - Laos

  • Dong Calor - Veun Kham, Cambodia to Champasack Province.     

This tourist visa on arrival can be extended twice consecutively but one whole stay cannot exceed 90 days. The visa extensions are of course processed by the immigration office in any provinces with an additional fee. 

► The following documents are request to get visa on arrival:

  • An original passport with the validity of at least 6 months from the date that you expect to leave Laos.
  • A completed visa application form signed by the applicant. A completed visa application form (given in the plane or on the “On Arrival” counter upon arrival).
  • Two recent passport photos with white background. 
  • Cash in USD for the visa stamping fees and others if applicable.
  • Proof of accommodation for visa application

► Steps to get Laos Visa on arrival

  • When arrived, go to the “On Arrival” counter. (The immigration counter is for the people who already have visa). You must fill in the form given in the plane or by the counter. Turn in the form and after some reviews, the office will call your name for cash payment for stamping fee for visa to enter the country. 
  • The fee will depend on your passport’s nationality and it can range from USD 30 to USD 42. Laotian Kip and Thai Baht are accepted but you are subject to a higher exchange rate.
  • In the case where you don’t have a photo with you, you can pay a few extra cash to have your photos taken right near the counter.
  • There are additional fees for visa application if you arrive between 6:00 to 8:00 AM or on the weekends or a national holiday.

Visa on arrival is relatively simple to do but if you want to prepare all the details before the trip begins, there is also the option of applying for eVisa.

3. eVisa


Laos Online Visa information

To further more promote tourism of the country, the government has pushed some new policies regarding visa obtained online – eVisa – and they have been in practice since July 2019. eVisa are only for tourism and business purposes only of most nationalities except for citizens of the country that is not eligible for visa on arrival listed above.

eVisa can take up to 3 business days to process and it is valid for 60 days from the issued date. Just like tourist visa on arrival, this visa permit you the stay of maximum of 30 days. The cost also varies depending on your nationality of the passport you provide. 

An evisa can be issued within 3 business days, and is valid for 60 days from the date of issue. The eVisa allows a maximum stay of up to 30 days in Laos. The cost of Laos visa depends on which country’s passport you possess. For most countries the price is 35 USD and could be higher for citizens from the US and some other Western countries.

You can find the website to apply eVisa here: https://laoevisa.gov.la/index

► Follow these 3 simple steps to apply for Laos eVisa

Step 1: Provide details and upload the necessary documents.

The personal documents below need to be uploaded in order you to apply for the visa: 

  • Photograph size 4x6 cm (have been taken no longer than 6 months)
  • Passport cover page
  • Passport bio page

You need to upload the photo of your passport that cover the whole bio page including the MRZ (two lines at the bottom of the page). Please follow the guidelines as closely as you can and if the documents or information is wrongly submitted, the process will be delayed.

Step 2: Review your application and pay online via credit card.

After submitting and confirming, the website will display all the information you have given for final review. Once you conclude that everything is correct, confirm and pay the fee online. This eVisa fee is non-refundable.

Step 3: Download the eVisa Approval Letter.

After around 3 working days, the visa approval letter will be sent to your email inbox. When you are ready, print the approval letter and bring with you to enter the country.

► eVisa holders can enter Laos from the following ports of entry:

  • Wattay International Airport (Vientiane Capital)
  • Thai – Lao Friendship Bridge I (Vientiane Capital)
  • Thai – Lao Friendship Bridge II (Savannakhet Province)
  • Luang Prabang International Airport (Luang Prabang)
  • Pakse International Airport (Champasack Province)

► At the Arrival Port, Follow these Following Steps:

  • Move to the Immigration area and queue in the eVisa line.
  • Turn in your passport and eVisa approval letter to the officer.
  • Get your visa stamped and enter Laos.

If you are the type who doesn’t like formalities and waiting in queue then it is highly recommend that you do eVisa instead of visa on arrival.

Any update to the policy or regulation with the visa in the future will be updated in this article.

With this guide, we hope that it helps you tackle the first step of your planning – getting a visa to the gorgeous country that is Laos. If you have any question or need advices, feel free to contact us.

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