With the launch of e-Visa scheme in July 2019, now the citizens of all nations can easily apply for Visa to Laos. We recommend you apply for this online visa as it helps avoid the tired long queue at the airport.
For the one forgetting to apply for e-Visa, you can easily apply for Visa on arrival, but it is only eligible for a list of selected countries.
Others, you can apply for Visa at Lao embassy before boarding the flight to Laos.
Lao Visa Policy
In general, Laos visa policy is quite easy and straight forward, that can be divided into 4 main categories: e-Visa, Visa Free or Visa Exemption (14-15-30 days), Visa on Arrival (30 days), and Visa or official approval required in advance for 32 blacklisted countries.
Let’s check the map below for the general idea.
Visa Online (Electronic Visa or e-Visa)
Laos government launched the online Visa (e-Visa) scheme on July 9th, 2019 for the citizens of all nations.
It is now the most convenient way to apply for tourist visa. Let’s check out below.
What is Laos e-Visa
The E-Visa Laos is an electronic travel authorization which the Laos government has launched officially in July 2019. Citizens from eligible countries can apply online for their e Visa Laos.
As soon as the e visa to Laos is approved, the travelers will be able to stay in Laos for tourism purposes for a maximum period of 30 days for a single entry.
To be able to benefit from this easy and rapid way of obtaining an eVisa, applicants must provide the correct information concerning their passport.
When arriving in Laos, travelers must show their approved Tourist E visa Laos to the border authorities to enter the country.
The Laos E visa application is aimed to make more fluid the immigration process and to amplify the border security checks.
Applicants must answer some questions and give details such as their full name, address, date of birth, passport details, and travel plans, when doing their application online.
Who is eligible for Laos e-Visa?
Laos e-Visa is available for the citizens of all nations (Except the ones in the Visa exemption scheme)
Where to apply for Laos e-Visa?
Laos immigration office has its own website for the tourist to apply online. But we receive the report of complexity and difficulty to use from our fellow travelers.
To avoid all the hassle of applying Laos e-Visa by yourself, we recommend you to apply with our online visa supplier via the below widget:
As you can see, it is not only for Laos, you can apply for the visa of many countries all over the world.
How to apply?
Applicant can apply in 3 easy steps.
Step 1: Choose where you are from, and which countries you are planning to visit
Step 2: Fill in the application form
Step 3: Review your application online, then apply if all looks good.
Step 4: They will send you the visa when it is done (3-5-7 days depending on how fast you want). Then download the eVisa Approval Letter.
What are the required documents to apply?
If you are applying for the eVisa, you have to upload the following documents:
- Passport bio page.
- Photograph size 4×6 cm (have been taken no longer than 6 months)
- Additional documents may be required
The size of the photograph must be 4×6 cm, as per ICAO Standard photograph:
Your visa application photograph must meet certain criteria regarding size and content. Submitting photos that do not meet these criteria can delay the visa application process. If your photo does not meet the requirements, you will have to provide new photographs before your application can be processed.
How long does it take to process e-Visa?
The standard processing time is 7 working days after submitting the application and pay the visa fee. In the urgent case, you can have the visa done within 5 or 3 days with a little higher fee.
Which ports in Laos provide e-Visa service?
At the moment, there are only 2 ports accepting Laos online visa applicants:
- Wattay International Airport in Vientiane. Check location here
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I connecting Vientiane and Nong Khai (Thailand). Check location here
Laos government will soon extend the list of e-Visa accepting port to at least 2 more international airports (in Luang Prabang and Pakse), and 3 more international border checkpoints including Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge 2 in Savannakhet connecting Mukdahan in Thailand, Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge 4 in Huayxay connecting Chiang Khong in Thailand, and Boten International Border connecting Mohan in China
In the near future, all the international airports or border checkpoints will accept the e-Visa applicants.
Frequently Asked Questions for Laos e-Visa
1. How to I get my eVisa Approval Letter?
When your eVisa application is approved, an Approval Letter will be sent to your email address that you informed at the time of registration.
2. How long is an e-Visa valid for?
An eVisa is valid for maximum of 60 days after receiving the Approval Letter.
3. How long can I stay in Laos using the e-Visa?
The Stay Permit of eVisa is 30 days.
4. How to apply for e-Visa?
We recommend you to apply via our best e-Visa supplier via the below widget:
Otherwise, you can apply by yourself via the website of Laos immigration office: www.laoevisa.gov.la
Check the below video to understand more about Laos e-Visa
5. Can I print my e-Visa approval letter in black and white?
Yes, as long as it is legible to the Immigration Officer especially the QR Code.
6. Do I have to print the approval letter or can I show the electronic version or photo of it to the immigration officer?
You are currently required to print out the eVisa Approval Letter and present it to the Immigration Officer.
7. I am not receiving email concerning my e-Visa although I provided the correct email address while filling my e-Visa form. How do I proceed?
8. If my eVisa application is rejected, can I apply again?
Yes, you can reapply using the Online service. Please ensure you submit the complete documents.
9. Do I need to line up at Visa on arrival desk when I have e-Visa approval letter in hand?
No, there will be a special lane for eVisa service at the arrival ports.
10. Why should I use online application system?
By applying online, you can submit all the required documents and information and pay the visa fees from your home or office. In additional, you can use eVisa special lane at arrival port to avoid standing in the long queue at the Visa on Arrival lane.
11. How many copies of e-Visa approval letter do I need to print out?
You only need to print one copy.
12. If I submitted the information incorrectly, can it be modified?
Applicants are responsible for the correctness of all information submitted during the application process. You cannot modify anything after submitting the documents.
13. Can I contact the nearest Lao embassy to check for my e-Visa status?
14. How can I check e-Visa status?
You will get the reference number after submitting the documents and proceed the payment. You can use that reference number to check on your visa status.
15. What type of visa can I apply online?
At the moment, only tourist visa is available to apply online. The other types will be updated soon.
16. Can I apply for a group visa?
Yes, you can apply for maximum 5 people per application.
17. What are the photo requirement for e-Visa?
- Your photo must be:
- Sized 4 x 6 cm.
- In color.
- Taken within the last 6 months.
- With no shadows.
- With a plain white background.
- You must face the camera in the photo.
- Have a neutral expression.
- Have both eyes open.
18. My passport is expired soon, can I still get an e-Visa?
All visitors need to have a passport valid for more than 180 days from the date of arrival. If your passport validity is less than 180 days, you must renew or apply for a new passport before applying for your eVisa.
19. My e-Visa was issued with an incorrect information, what should I do?
If your eVisa was issued with incorrect information, contact immigration staff via email.
20. Will the e-Visa be valid for single entry or multiple entry?
eVisa is valid for Single Entry only.
21. What if I lose my e-Visa
If you lose your eVisa approval letter, you can reprint it by accessing it from your email.
22. Why was my Visa application rejected?
The reasons will be provided to you by email.
23. Do children or infants need a Visa?
Yes, all applicants including children and infants must have a visa to enter the Lao PDR.
Tourist Visa on Arrival
The Lao government issues 30-day tourist visa on arrival at all international airports and most international border crossings.
The whole process is very straightforward. You need between US$30 and US$42 in cash, one passport-sized photo and the name of a hotel or guesthouse.
Those without a photo, or who are arriving on a weekend, holiday or after office hours, will have to pay an additional one or two dollars.
The visa fee varies depending on the passport of origin, with Canadians having to fork out the most (US$42) and most other nationalities paying between US$30 and US$35.
It’s cheaper to pay in US dollars as a flat rate of 1500B (around US$45) is applicable in Thai baht. No other foreign currencies are accepted.
Where to Get Laos Tourist Visa on Arrival
At the moment, you can apply Laos Visa on arrival at 4 International Airports, 16 Border checkpoints, and 1 Train Station.
4 International airports
- 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.
16 International Border checkpoints
Laos – Vietnam: 7 International borders
- Sobhoun – Tay Trang (Phongsaly – Dien Bien)
- Nam Suay – Nameo (Huaphanh – Thanh Hoa)
- Namkan – Nam Can (Savannakhet – Nghe An)
- Namphao – Cau Treo (Bolikhamxay – Ha Tinh)
- Napao – Chalo (Thakhek – Quang Binh)
- Dansavan – Lao Bao (Savannakhet – Quang Tri)
- Phou Keua – Bo Y (Attapeu – Kontum)
Laos – Cambodia: 1 International border
- Dong Kralor – Stung Treng (Champasak – Stung Treng)
Laos – Thailand: 7 International borders & 1 Train station
- Huayxay – Chiang Khong (Bokeo – Chiang Rai)
- Muang Ngeun – Huaykon (Xayabouly – Nan)
- Kenethao – Nakaxeng (Xayabouly – Loei)
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I (Vientiane – Nong Khai-Udon Thani)
- Tha Laneng Train Station (Vientiane – Nong Khai-Udon Thani)
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge III (Thakhek – Nakhon Phanom)
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II (Savannakhet – Mukdahan)
- Vangtao – Chongmek (Champasak – Ubon Ratchathani)
Laos – China: 1 International border
- Boten – Bohan (Luang Namtha – Yunnan)
We have marked all the Laos Visa on arrival entry points in the Google Maps, please check below for your reference
Documents required and fee for Laos Visa on Arrival
Check out the documents required and Visa on arrival fee below:
- Your original passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity and 3 blank pages for a visa sticker.
- A Visa application form, filled out and signed by the applicant (available at visa window at Lao ports of entry or given before landing if you are arriving by plane)
- Two(2) recent passport-type photographs.
- If you cannot find your country in the list, you can assume it costs $US30 (Others), or otherwise your country may be in “not eligible” countries list (The list of ‘Who cannot get Visa on Arrival’ below).
- On weekends, Lao public holidays, before 8am and after 4pm weekdays, there is a $1 over time fee. In addition an entry fee (2,500 Kip or so) may be charged.
- At Thai-Lao international border checkpoints Thai Baht may be accepted for Laos visa on arrival fee, We’d recommend paying your visa fee in US dollars to avoid loosing money through unfavorable exchange rates. The same rules apply when you apply the Visa at the border with Vietnam, Cambodia, or China
- Similarly, if you want to save a bit here and there when in Laos, it is better to pay in the currency quoted whether it is US dollars, Lao Kip or Thai Baht whenever possible to avoid converting from one currency to another. You might want to apply this strategy when paying your hotels, restaurant and shopping bills especially if it is a large sum of money.
How to get the Laos Tourist Visa on Arrival
Steps to apply for the Laos visa on arrival:
- If you want to be prepared and if you have access to a printer, download the visa application form HERE. Print and fill it out and take with you, otherwise wait till you arrive;
- On arrival, head to the window marked visa on arrival (don’t waste your time lining up at the immigration window if you don’t already have the visa); In most ports of entry including the Lao international border crossing points and Lao International Airports (Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse and Savannakhet) the Laos visa on arrival window is located at the arrival channel (before or next to the immigration windows).
- If you have not already pre-filled the application form, get it at the window and fill it out (if you arrive by plane, the visa form as well as immigration form should be given to you before landing, get them ready before leaving the plane);
- Submit the completed form together with your passport and 2 photographs;
- Pay the visa fee (cash, payable in US dollars), a complete list of fees is usually placed at the window for your reference;
- After providing everything needed, wait nearby, your name will be called once your visa is ready.
The visa processing time varies between ports of entry. At major airports or at Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge in Vientiane it takes around 10-15 minutes.
Delays are possible in late afternoons, weekends and public holidays at both visa window and immigration windows especially at the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridges.
Who can get the Visa on arrival?
All foreigners intending to visit Laos as tourists, except for citizens of the countries listed under “Who CANNOT get Laos Visa on Arrival?” below.
Note: Citizens of ASEAN member countries as well as some other countries, who have special agreement with Laos, are exempt from Laos visa.
You can find the list of country entitled to Visa exemption below within this article.
UPDATE: LAOS VISA FOR TURKISH CITIZENS
From 01 April 2019, Turkish Passport holders can apply for Visa on arrival at all the international borders and international airports. Visa fee is about $30/person. All documents and steps as above part about Visa on arrival.
Who cannot get Visa on Arrival - Updated on 21 October 2018
Nationals of the following 32 countries are ineligible to obtain a visa on arrival, and they can only obtain a visa on arrival if they are traveling on an official visit and are holding an official letter of guarantee issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos
How can the tourists from these countries get the Visa to Laos?
It is written somewhere that you can apply the visa to Laos at one of the oversea Lao Embassies or Lao Consulates in your countries or regions.
It is correct but not enough as you will first need to apply for the Visa Approval Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
We recommend you to contact with local travel agency to check for the latest procedure.
Here are our recommendation for 4 Steps to get your visa to Laos for blacklisted countries:
- Plan ahead: Working with the government office always takes time, sometimes, the procedure will be postponed because there is the big festival, official holiday, or they are busy joining some parties. We recommend you to have a solid plan at least 2 months before departure.
- Contact with a local travel agency, finalize your plan with them, and provide full information of your plan: Tour plan, hotels stay, arrival and departure flight, copy of passport, and the Lao Embassy or Consulate that you will get the Visa issued. Then the agency will help you take care of the rest.
- The whole procedure will take about 30-45 days, and cost $50-$70/person depending on your group size (this is for Visa approval letter only, you pay for your visa separately at the embassy/consulate). Of course, you can do it faster, however, you know it already, the faster you want, the more money you need to pay
- Once the Visa Approval Letter is issued, you take that and get the Visa issued at Laos Embassy or Consulate that you register with the local travel agency
- We recommend you to choose the Lao embassy or consulate in your area.
- However, if there is no Lao embassy or consulate in your area, you may need to plan your travel route to pass through one of Laos’ neighbor countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China or Myanmar), there are Lao embassies in these countries.
- With the Visa approval letter, it should take you no more than 2 hours to get the Visa issued
Visa at the Embassy (Mostly for Blacklisted Countries)
In most of the case, Visa on arrival is the most convenient and recommended method to apply Visa to Laos.
The visa issued at the embassy is generally for the tourists from Blacklisted countries only (33 countries listed above).
However, in case you want to have visa ready before boarding the flight to Laos, you can also have it at one of the Laos Embassy or Laos Consulate.
General Requirement (maybe varied depending on the embassy that you visit)
- Valid passport with remaining validity of at least 6 months from the date of your entry;
- Two blank pages on your passport (Lao visa stamp takes up a whole page, plus there has to be space for immigration stamps too);
- Two recent photographs (3cmx4cm), in color, front view and with a plain/light background;
- Duly filled Visa Application Form with one photograph attached;
- Visa fee (amount depends on your nationality and where you apply);
- A copy of your itinerary.
Additional requirement for applying Lao Visa from USA
- A copy of passport (the page contains your information);
- $ 10.00 for Lao Origin;
- $ 50.00 for US citizens;
- $ 57.00 for Canadian citizens;
- Visa fees can be paid by money order or certified check;
- If applying by mail, enclose prepaid self-addressed return envelope;
Two months from the date of issue.
Period of stay
30 days from the date of entry.
Consulates and Embassies
Embassy of Laos PDR
2222 S St NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: (+1) 202-332-6416
For more information please visit the embassy website, here www.laoembassy.com/visa&applications.html
Additional requirement for applying Lao Visa from UK
Please check directly with the embassy at (+44) 20 7402 3770 or email@example.com.
If mailing in your application, include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
02 months from the date of issue.
Period of stay
30 days from the date of entry.
Consulates and Embassies
Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic
49 Porchester Terrace
London, United Kingdom
Phone: (+44) 20 7402 3770
Additional requirement for applying Lao Visa from Australia
- A pre-paid self-addressed return envelope ( Express Mail, Registered Mail or DHL, TNT is acceptable );
- AU$ 45.00 for one entry (including Handling fee);
Processing time: 5 working days from date of receiving your completed application;
- AU$ 60.00 for urgent visa (including Handling fee).
Processing time: 1 working day;
- Visa fees can be paid by money order or cash payable to: “The Lao PDR EMBASSY”
Two months from the date of issue.
Period of stay
30 days from the date of entry.
Consulates and Embassies
Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic,
1, Dalman Crescent,
O’Malley, ACT 2606
Phone: (+61) 2 6286 4595, (+61) 2 6286 6933
More information or to download the application form here http://www.laosembassy.net
Laos Visa Extention
If you find your visa is about to expire and you wish to stay longer in Laos, don’t worry, it is possible to get all types of Laos visa (except for a Transit Visa), extended at the immigration office in Vientiane.
It cost US$2 per day if you apply before the expiry date. However, if you leave it until your visa expires you will be finded for US$10 per day for the days you over stayed.
If you are in Vientiane, your Laos Visa extension can be done at the Immigration Office behind the Joint Development Bank (JDB) on Lane Xang Avenue, opposite the Morning Market.
The office is open Monday-Friday, from 8:00am-4:00pm (closed 12:00 to 13:00 at lunchtime). The office is closed for applications on Friday afternoon.
- Your passport
- One passport type photo
- Service fee of US$3
- Application fee of 3,000 kip per person
- Visa extension fee : $2 per day if you have valid visa, $10 per day if your visa is already expired (overstayed days)
Get a travel agent or specialist provider to do your Laos visa extension for you.
Most travel agents can arrange a Laos visa extension for you with a small overhead fee. This varies between providers, so shop around for the best deal.
The process is straight forward, just fill out the application form then submit together with your passport and pay the fees. In normal circumstances your visa is usually ready the same day.
If you only plan to stay for a few more days this option could work out best.
If you are in Vientiane it is very easy, you can take a public bus (around 10,000 kip) to the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge.
Complete the immigration procedures on the Lao side; the take the shuttle bus (5,000 kip) to the Thai immigration point and enter Thailand.
If you want to come straight back into Laos you simply have to cross the road to the Thai immigration to exit the country.
Once again, get the shuttle bus and then arrive at the Lao side, where you can apply for a Laos Visa on Arrival.
Your passport must have at least 6 months of remaining validity and a blank page for a visa stamp and don’t forget to take enough cash (US dollars) for the visa fee and two passport sized photos.
Laos visa exemption is granted to many countries including all ASEAN member countries and some non-ASEAN nations that have entered into mutual agreements as well as some former USSR countries.
Laos also extends privileges to Laotians (Lao people) residing abroad who hold foreign passports by lowering the visa fee or in some case charging no fee, and allowing them to stay longer.
For some countries the visa free scheme applies to all type of passports (Diplomatic, Official and Ordinary passport), while for others it only applicable to certain type of passports. The length of stay ranges from 14-90 days depending on the countries.
List of countries entitled Lao Visa Exemption
Followings are lists of countries with which Laos has reached mutual agreements on Laos visa exemption. (Lao passport holders can enter these countries visa-free and these countries’ passport holders can enter Laos visa-free, same conditions apply)
|No||Country||Passport Type||Days of stay (Max)|
|15||DPR Korea||Diplomatic/Official||Not set*|
Former USSR countries
*The length of stay can be as long as the length of an assignment
**Ordinary passport holders of these countries can enter Laos without a visa, but Lao ordinary passport holders don’t get the same privilege in return (they still need to get a visa to enter those countries).
If you are a citizen of one of these countries with a right passport type, you can enter Laos without having to obtain a visa. The length of stay varies as shown above.
Natives of Laos residing abroad
Apart from the lists above, Laotians holding passports of other countries are exempt from Lao visa fee, regardless of their current nationality or citizenship status.
This program has been in place since 1 January 2011. More details below.
FREE of charge (you still need to get the visa, but you are not charged a visa fee), provided that you are:
- 65+ years of age, or
- Under 15 years of age, or
- Monk/priest (all ages), or
- Physically and/or mentally disabled (all ages)
If you are a Lao person and fall into one of the groups (1-4) above, you can apply for a visa FOR FREE either at Lao embassies/consulates outside Laos or at Lao international airports, or Lao international border checkpoints where visa on arrival is available.
Furthermore you can get your visa extended at immigration office in Laos FREE OF CHARGE when your 90-day visa expires should you want to stay longer.
FREE of charge for ALL Laotians, no age constrain, but you need to apply for the visa at Lao embassy/consulate abroad.
You can get Laos visa extension FOR FREE (at the immigration offices in Laos) should want to stay longer. Visit immigration department website
60-day visa (on arrival) – NOT FREE
If you are a native of Laos but not fall into any of the groups (1-4) above, you’ll be given 60 days permit (not the usual 30 days) when applying for Laos visa-on-arrival. Though you still need to pay the usual fee. This ranges from $20-$42 depending on your current citizenship.
However, if or when you get your visa extended at the immigration offices in Laos you will only be charged half of the fee (10,000kip/day). The full fee is 20,000kip/day (around $2.5).
Whether you chose to get your visa at the embassy or at your port of entry, you need to hold a valid passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity and provide two passport-type photos for visa processing.
Have an enjoyable trip. I hope you enjoy your privilege.