28 Nov 2016 - Posted By Maeve Nolan / Get Your Visa, Luang Prabang, Vientiane / 6 Comments

We’re excited for you as you plan your trip to Laos—this country of lyrical beauty and unassuming people is one our favorite destinations in Asia. But we know the process of applying for a Laos visa can be confusing.

We’re offering this step-by-step guide to make the process quick and easy.

Learn everything you need to know right here, with links to downloadable application forms, lists of visa-exempt countries and more.

For your first step, read below to see if your nationality is exempted from needing a visa at all.

Visa-free countries: Do you need a visa to visit Laos?

The good news is that a vast majority of nations either enjoy visa-free status or are eligible for visas on arrival for short stays in Laos.

If you’re a national of one of the countries listed below, you do not need a visa to enter Laos for the specified duration (see table below).

Visa-free CountriesMax Duration of Stay (in days)
Brunei14
Cambodia30
Indonesia30
Japan15
Luxemburg15
Malaysia30
Mongolia30
Myanmar (Burma)14
Philippines30
Russia15
Singapore30
South Korea15
Switzerland15
Thailand30
Vietnam30

If, however, you are not a national of one of these nations, or you would like to stay longer than the maximum duration specified, you’ll have to apply for one of the following types of visas.

Types and Issuance of Laos Visas

Visa on Arrival (VOA)

Nationals of most countries are eligible to enter Laos by applying for a visa on arrival at specific port of entry. The visa on arrival is good for a single entry of up to 30 days and can be extended once.

Here is a list of eligible nationals, and all the useful details of getting a visa on arrival.

Where can you get a VOA in Laos

Airports

  • Vientiane Wattay International Airport
  • Luang Prabang International Airport
  • Pakse International Airport
  • Savannakhet International Airport

Terrestrial checkpoints and border crossings

  • Mohan – Boten, Yunnan to Luang Namtha Province.
  • Chiangkhong – Huay Xai, Chiang Rai to Bokeo Province.
  • Bangnakraseng – Kenethao, Loei to Sayabouly Province.
  • Huai Jhon – Muang 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, Nakon Phanom-Khammouane Province.
  • Chongmek – Vangtao, Ubon Ratchathani to Champasak Province.
  • Na Meo – Banleui, Thanh Hoa to Huaphanh Province.
  • Nam Can – Nam Can, Nge An to Xieng Khouang Province.
  • Keoneua – Nam Phao (Lak Sao), Ha tinh to Bolikhamxay Province.
  • Lao Bao – Dansavanh, Quang tri to Savannakhet Province.
  • Stung Treng Border Crossing – Dong Calor – Veun Kham, Cambodia to Champasack Province.

Train Stations

  • Thanaleng Railway Station (on arrival in Vientiane)

Laos VOA Port of Entries on a map

Requirements

To receive a visa on arrival, you’ll need a passport that is valid for at least another 6 months with at least one free page.

Documents

A completed visa application form, two passport photos, and your visa fee in cash, payable in Thai baht, Lao Kip or US dollars (see fees in the table below).

How much does a visa on arrival for Laos cost?

This depends on your nationality. See the table below.

Country of ResidenceVisa on Arrival Fee (US$)
Canada45
India40
USA35
UK35
Sweden31
China20
Others30
Important to note: There’s an additional “overtime” fee of US$1 if you apply for a VOA between 6 and 8am and after 4pm, on weekends, and on Lao public holidays.

Validity

30 days from the date of entry

Period of stay

The VOA allows you to stay in Laos for 30 days from the date of entry, but one extension for another 30 days is allowed.

To extend your visa, take your passport to the immigration office in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

If you apply for an extension before your visa’s expiration date, you’ll only pay US$2 for each extra day you would like to stay.

But if you extend your visa after it has expired, you’ll be fined US$10 per day for each day of overstay in addition to the US$2 fee for additional days you’d like to stay.

Tourist Visa for Laos

If you’d like to apply for a tourist visa for Laos ahead of time, you certainly can at a Lao embassy or consulate.

The validity of the tourist visa is 3 months from the date of issuance, and it’s good for a single-entry stay of up to 30 days, much like the visa on arrival.

The tourist visa can also be extended for another 30 days.

Visit Visa

This is the visa for you if you are staying in Laos to visit family.

The visa is good for a single-entry stay of up to 30 days, but unlike the VOA or tourist visa, it can be extended twice, for a total of 60 additional days. It will not, however, allow you multiple entries.

You can apply for a visit visa at the Lao embassy or consulate of your choice.

The only special document you’ll need aside from the normal requirements for a tourist visa is a letter certified by the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs that serves as a proof of guarantor in Laos.

Transit Visa

If you are planning on passing through Laos on your way to another country, you have the option of applying for a transit visa, which is good for a single-entry stay of up to 7 days.

The Lao transit visa is not extendable.

You’ll need to apply for one at a Lao embassy or consulate with proof of your onward journey.

vang vieng is a great place to see after obtained a laos visa

Vang Vieng, boats on the river

Laos Tourist Visa Application

How to apply for a Laos Visa from USA

Requirements

If you’d like to apply for a Laos tourist visa from the US, you will have to mail or bring your documents in person to the Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Washington, D.C., the only Lao diplomatic mission to the US.

Documents

Bring your passport—it must be valid for 6 months after the date of entry into Laos and contain two blank pages—two color passport photos, a visa application form, and your visa fee.

If mailing in your application, include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Fees

US$50 for US citizens; US$57 for Canadian citizens; and US$10 for people of Lao origin. All fees must be paid by money order or certified check.

Validity

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
USA
Phone: (+1) 202-332-6416

How to apply for a Laos Visa from Australia

Requirements

If you’d like to apply for a Laos tourist visa from Australia, you will have to mail or bring your documents in person to the Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Canberra, the only Lao diplomatic mission to Australia.

Documents

Bring your passport—it must be valid for 6 months after the date of entry into Laos and contain two blank pages—two color passport photos, a visa application form, your travel itinerary, and your visa fee.

If mailing in your application, include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Fees

AU$45 for normal processing; AU$60 for urgent processing (visa will be processed in one day.)

Validity

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
Australia
Phone: (+61) 2 6286 4595, (+61) 2 6286 6933

How to apply for a Laos Visa from the UK

Requirements

If you’d like to apply for a Laos tourist visa from the UK, you will have to mail or bring your documents in person to the Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in London, the only Lao diplomatic mission to the UK.

Documents

Bring your passport—it must be valid for 6 months after the date of entry into Laos and contain two blank pages—two color passport photos, a visa application form (no downloadable forms are available online), your travel itinerary, and your visa fee.

If mailing in your application, include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Fees

Please check directly with the embassy at (+44) 20 7402 3770 or [email protected]

Validity

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
49 Porchester Terrace
London, United Kingdom
Phone: (+44) 20 7402 3770

Wat mai luang prabang temple laos visa

Beautiful Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham temple in Luang Prabang,

How and where to get your Lao visa extended

Tourist visas and visas on arrival in Laos can be extended once for a maximum of 30 more days. Visit visas can also be extended, but for a maximum of 60 more days.

If you overstay your visa without extending it, you’ll be fined US$10 per day for each day of overstay in addition to the US$2 fee for any additional days you’d like to stay.

Getting your visa extended within Laos

Extend your Laos visa Monday through Friday at:

Immigration Office in Vientiane
Lane Xang Avenue
Chanthabouly District
Hatsady Village
Tel: (021) 219 607.

Office hours are 8:00am to 4:00pm, but extension applications will not be accepted on Friday afternoons.

Bring your passport, a passport photo, a processing fee of US$3, an application fee of 2,500 kip (about US$0.25), and an extension fee of US$2 per day. You can obtain and fill out an extension application form at the Immigration Office.

Asking an agency

As your go-to Asia-based Travel Specialists, we’re happy to arrange your visa when you book a tour through us.

The documents required will be the same as applying in person at an embassy or consulate. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

So now, you have all the information you’ll need to apply for a Laos visa. If you’re eligible for a visa on arrival, we recommend taking advantage of this option as it is often the cheapest and most convenient.


As always, if you have any questions or would like to tailor one of our Laos tours to your tastes, just contact one of our Travel Specialists.

And if you have any insights to share on getting a Laos visa, please leave a comment below!

6 Comments

mr woodley

07.12.2017, 4:42

hulo,
is it possible to enter from thailand via the HUAY XAI land border and travel down over 7 days to exit at the KUEN KHAM land border into cambodia on a voa visa.
thank you.

Reply

Suphaphan

07.12.2017, 10:16

Hi Woodley,

Thank you for visiting our blog. Regarding your question about visa. Our Laos Travel expert is able to give you more information.
She’ll contact you back via email.

Have a nice day!
Backyard Travel Team

Reply

Joseph Chan

22.02.2018, 4:42

Dear sir,

Thanks for the information!

I have a question about the extension of the Lao VOA
– I got the VOA and went back to Thailand after getting a Thai Tourist Visa last week,
– I am planning to go to Vientiane again this week, and want to apply for extension of the Lao VOA; but as the place of application is inside the city, and I need to pass through the customs after passing through the Friendship Bridge, what can I do?
~ Is it possible to apply for extension at the border?
If not, how to say to the customs officials there?

Please make a reply soon.

BR
Joseph Chan

Reply

Suphaphan

23.02.2018, 2:17

Hi Joseph,

According to your questions, we’ll get back to you via email.

Reply

Radi

19.12.2018, 7:39

Hello guys, very nice blog and usefull infornation. I have a similar question like Joseph. I visited Vientiane and got VOA at Nong Khai border on 11.12., stayed in Laos till 17.12. and got back to Thailand(also via Nong Khai border). Now I’m planning to visit Savannaket on the first week of January. Is it possible to use VOA and make an extension at border crossing near Savannaket or do I need to get new VOA in there? Thank you in advance for your response.

Reply

Pete

20.12.2018, 5:09

Hi Radi,

Thank you very much for your comment. Regarding your question, I would like to inform you that this is very complicated because there are many factors involved and we have to know more about your personal details. In this case, we would like to recommend you to contact Laos embassy directly. You may go to this site or go to Laos embassy in your country.
Have a lovely day:)

Reply

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