Laos is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage. The landscape is serene, with evergreen mountains covered in forests, plateaus, and lowland plains.
Based on the Laos visa policy, only citizens from some specific countries can visit Laos without a visa. If you are planning a trip to Laos, it’s essential to check from an official source of the Laotian Embassy whether you’ll require a visa.
|Requirement type||Mandatory except for 15 countries with visa waivers|
|Purpose of travel||Tourism, business, work, transit|
|Valid||6 months from issue; 3 months per visit|
|Processing time||Normal: 7 working days
Urgent: 3-5 working days
|Cost||£25.6 to 37.1£ depending on nationality|
|Application method||Online, in-person or mail|
|Payment method||PayPal, debit or credit card|
Categories of Laos Visas
- The first category is for citizens coming from countries with visa waivers. In total, there are fifteen such countries where the citizens only need to have a valid passport to access Laos.
If you come from these countries, you can stay in Laos for 14 to 30 days, depending on the country you come from.
- The second category of visitors qualifies for a visa upon arrival. It’s important to note that the Laos Visa on Arrival (VOA) fee has to be in cash only, either in US Dollars, Laotian Kip, or Thai Baht.
You can only extend the Laos VOA two times for a maximum stay of 90 days. If you fit into this category, you can apply for a Laos eVisa as well.
- The third category is for visitors who must visit a Laotian embassy to get a standard visa.
What Are the Types of Laos Visa?
The Laos government provides visas based on the reason for entry. The types of Laos visas are:
- Laos Tourist Visa
A tourist visa is for foreigners who would like to enter Laos for reasons of tourism. A Laos tourist visa is easy to get on arrival or online.
- Laos Business Visa
This visa for foreigners who want to enter Laos to invest, collect data, or other business-related reasons. With a business visa, you are not allowed to work for a Laos company.
It’s possible to extend a business visa until the end of the business term, and you’ll need a Laos sponsor for a business visa.
- Laos Transit Visa
This visa is available to foreigners who pass through Laos on their way to another destination. A transit visa only valid for seven days and is not possible to extend.
For you to get this visa, you need to show proof of continuing your travels.
- Laos Work Visa
A work visa in Laos is for foreigners who intend to work in Laos. It also extends to your family members.
- Laos Media Visa
This visa is for foreign journalists who enter Laos for work.
- Laos Student Visa
Student visas are for foreign nationals who get admitted into an educational institution in Laos.
- Laos Spouse Visa
This visa is for the spouses or partners of Laos nationals.
What Is the Laos eVisa?
Laos eVisa is a mandatory document authorizing you to travel to Laos from another country. Laos immigration require this document on your arrival, so you should present a print out of the eVisa once you receive it via email.
What Are the Processing Times and Prices for an eVisa?
The prices vary depending on how fast you require the Laos eVisa and include the service fee.
There are three options available for you:
- A Standard eVisa takes 7 Business Days – £ 69.65.
- A Rush eVisa takes 5 Business Days – £ 86.17.
- A Super Rush eVisa takes 3 Business Days – £ 102.68.
For weekends, Laos public holidays and festivals, you’ll need to pay a £ 0.83 overtime fee. This also applies to out-of-office hours, before 8 A.M and after 4 P.M on weekdays
Note that the Laos eVisa permits only a single entry to Laos. The eVisa is only valid for a maximum of 60 days from the day it’s issued. Therefore, your visit to Laos should fall within 60 days.
You can stay in Laos for a period not exceeding 30 days for every entry. The Laos tourist visa is valid for a period of not more than 30 days as well.
What Places Can I Gain Entry Using a Laos eVisa?
There are 7 delegated ports where you can use your Laos eVisa:
- Wattay International Airport
- Thai Friendship Bridge I in Vientiane
- Thai Friendship Bridge II in Savannakhet
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge IV
- Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang
- Pakse International Airport in Champasack
- Boten International Checkpoint
How Do I Apply for a Laos Visa Online?
Here are the steps for the online application.
- Fill out the online application form
- Attach the following documents:
- A recent photo of yourself that has a white background and measures 4×6 cm.
- The cover page of your passport.
- The bio page on your passport.
- Any other relevant documents.
- Pay the application fee based on the country you come from.
- Wait for the visa to process for about three to seven working days
- Download the eVisa Approval Letter sent to your email, valid for 60 days.
It’s advisable to submit the visa application form at least 7 days before the date you plan on arriving in Laos.
Applying for a Laos Embassy Visa
To apply for a Laos embassy visa, you need to contact the Laos embassy or consulate closest to you first. This is because the visa application process is a little different depending on your location.
You need to fill out the visa application form online, attach the necessary documents, and pay the Laos visa fee. The fee is between £25.6 to £37 for a single-entry 30-day visa, depending on the country you come from.
The application form is easily accessible on the website of the embassy or consulate.
The application can be in-person, or through the mail, depending on the instructions the Laos consular services give you.
Who Needs a Laos Embassy Visa?
If you do not qualify to get the visa on arrival or the eVisa, you should apply for a Laos visa at the nearest Laos embassy or consulate.
If you’d like to extend your stay beyond the period allowed by the Visa On Arrival (VOA) and eVisa, you also need to apply for a Laos embassy visa.
Laos Visa Requirements
To qualify for a Laos visa, you require these documents:
- A passport that is valid for a minimum of another six months.
- A Laos visa application form. You can either downloaded the form online or get it on the plane or airport checkpoint for those applying for a VOA
- Two updated passport-size pictures, with a white background and measures 4×6 cm.
- Proof of where you’ll stay in Laos, like a hotel reservation, for instance.
- Proof of financial capability for the period you’re staying.
- A return-trip ticket or a ticket to your next destination.
- Clearance of the Laos visa fee.
- Any other relevant documents based on the reason for your travels
Can You Extend a Laos Visa?
It’s possible to extend your Laos visa at the Immigration Department offices on Hatsady Road, Vientiane, or the Immigration Division Office of the province where you are staying.
The visa extension application needs to be before your current visa lapses. A 30-day tourist visa can only get extended twice, for a maximum stay of 90 days.
The extension fee is 20,000 Lao Kip (est. £ 1.75) per day and 25,000 Lao Kip (est. £ 2.18) for the service fee. The application fee is about 2,000 Kip per person (est 0.17 £)
If your visa expires while in Laos, you will incur a fine of £ 8.3 every day past the expiry date.
Organize Your Trip to Laos Today
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the above information gets updated from time to time. As you plan your trip to Laos, it’s vital to double-check from official sources of the Laos Embassy or consulate near you. You can start your adventure with the eVisa application right here.