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Laos Visa Guide: How to Apply and Requirements

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Laos is fully reopened to international tourists since May 9, 2022, quarantine and COVID-19 testing upon arrival are no longer required. Foreign tourists aged 12 or older can enter Laos by providing:

  • Fully vaccinated travelers: vaccine certificates by an authorized health agency.
  • Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers: a negative COVID-19 testing result within 48 hours (in English) before arriving in Laos.

Most international tourists need a visa to enter Laos. As per the visa policy of the country at present, only passport holders of Japan and ASEAN countries can visit Laos visa free for 14-30 days. The good news is that passport holders from the rest countries can easily apply for a Lao visa either on arrival or online.

Scroll down to learn which countries are allowed to visit Laos visa-free, as well as the steps and requirements to apply for a Laos visa on arrival or a Laos eVisa.

Laos Visa

Laos Visa Exemptions - Who is Eligible to Enter Laos Visa Free?

Passport holders of the following countries presently can enter Laos without a visa:

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

Note:

  • To get a Laos visa exemption, please ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months and has at least 2 blank pages when you arrive in Vietnam.
  • Citizens from the above countries can apply for visa extension online or on arrival to stay longer than the period stated.

Applying for a Laos Visa on Arrival?

1. Who can apply for a Laos Visa on Arrival?

Most international tourists can apply for a Laos visa upon arrival, except passport holders of the following countries (need to apply for a Laos visa in advance from Lao embassies)

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

2. How to Apply for a Laos Visa on Arrival?

It will just take you a few minutes to get your Laos visa on arrival and costs around $35. To get your visa on arrival, passengers must enter Laos from its four international airports (Luang Prabang Airport, Pakse Airport and Wattay Airport in Vientiane, and Pakse International Airport), border crossings from Thailand to Laos, and some checkpoints boarding Vietnam (Nonghaed, Nam Phao, Na Pao, Daensavan) and China (Boten).

Documents required to apply for a Laos visa on arrival

After arriving at the four international airports mentioned above or the border checkpoints, you’ll need to get to the visa-on-arrival issuing counter and provide the following documents:

  • Passport (expires in at least 6 months, with 2 blank pages)
  • The completed Laos Visa on Arrival Form (can get at the window of airport or checkpoint)
  • 2 recent, passport-sized photos(take one at the entry port if without recent photos)
  • Visa fee (USD 30 to USD 45, varies according to your nationality)
  • A confirmed return ticket or onward travel ticket
  • Supporting proof (e.g. sponsors’ letters or certificates) when applying for non-tourist visas.
Luang Prabang Airport
Luang Prabang Airport

Laos eVisa - Applying for a Laos Visa Online

Citizens from over 160 countries can apply for a Laos eVisa through www.laoevisa.gov.la (the official eVisa issuance website of the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs). 

If your country is included in the eVisa list, follow the steps to process your eVisa:

  • Complete the online application details and upload the required documents
  • Pay the fee online ( USD 31 to USD 45, varying according to your nationality)
  • Usually, it takes about 3 working days to process the eVisa application (need to wait a longer time if you don’t satisfy the criteria)
  • The eVisa Approval Letter will be sent to your email, download it. (it’s valid for 60 days after downloading it.)

Note:

  • The eVisa is only for tourism purposes, to longer stay, you’ll need go to a Lao embassy.
  • You can apply for the eVisa for up to 5 people at one single application.

How to use Lao eVisa?

Foreign tourists can use the eVisa to enter the following 5 ports:

  1. Wattay International Airport
  2. Luang Prabang International Airport
  3. Pakse International Airport
  4. Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I (in Vientiane)
  5. Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I (in Savannakhet Province)

After reaching one of the above international ports in Laos, head to the immigration area, show the immigration officers your passport and eVisa Approval Letter, and then wait for them to review the documents and give entry approval.

Visa Extensions - Can You Extend a Laos Visa?

Yes, foreign tourists can apply to extend their Laos visa at the Immigration Department or Immigration Division Office in Vientiane and Luang Prabang, before the expiry date of their current visa. You can only apply to extend the 30-day tourist visa no more than two times. The process is as below:

  • Complete the application form (get it from the office)
  • Provide your passport and submit the fee (around $2 for one day)
  • If submitting the application in the morning, you will get your visa extension the same day.

How Much is a Lao Visa?

It will cost $30-45 to apply for a single-entry 30-day Lao visa, the fee varies depending on your nationality.

Main Types of Laos Visas

Visas are issued based on your purpose of entering Laos. Some main types of Lao visas include:

  • Laos Tourist Visa
  • Laos Business Visa
  • Laos Transit Visa (for those transiting through Laos to the third destination)
  • Laos Work Visa
  • Laos Media Vis
  • Laos Student Visa
  • Laos Spouse Visa

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