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 Laos Visa on Arrival

General Information | Visa on arrival | Visa at Embassies | Visa types | Visa exemption

Laos Visa on Arrival

If you intend to enter Laos as a tourist, this is the most convenient way to get your Laos visa, especially for those who living far from Laos Embassy or do not have enough time for getting visa there. Just make sure you have a valid passport and plan to arrive at one of the Lao international ports of entry where visas on arrival are issued.
A Visa on Arrival is usually a tourist visa (with 30 days stay). Some times business and other type of visas can be picked up on arrival as well provided that you have arranged everything in advance and you have letter of approval (or an entry visa number) from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos.

Note: Tourist visa holders are prohibited from obtaining employment in Laos.
Q: Who can get a Laos visa on arrival?
Q: What are the requirements?
Q: Where can I get Laos visa on arrival?
Q: What is the fee for Laos visa on arrival?
Q: What are the procedures?

A: Who can get Laos visa on arrival?
Everyone except for citizens of the countries listed below:

Afghanistan
Algeria
Bangladesh
Burundi
Cameroon
Congo
Cote d’Ivoire
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea Bissau

Jordan
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya )
Mozambique
Nauru
Niger
Nigeria
Pakistan
Senegal

Sierra Leone
Sri Lanka
Suriname
Syria (Syrian Arab republic)
Swaziland
Tonga
Turkey
Zambia
Zimbabwe
 

According to notice No. 1232 issued on 1 October 2009, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR, nationals on the list above must obtain their visas at Lao Embassies or Lao Consulates abroad before entering Laos.
However, there is an exception for those nationals who are on official visits and holding a guarantee letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos.

A: Requirements for a tourist visa on arrival
* Your original passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity and has a blank page for a visa stamp.
* A Visa application form, filled and signed by the applicant (available at visa booth at Lao ports of entry.
* 2 recent passport-type photos. If you don't have photos you will be asked to pay a small fee (few dollars) for scanning your photograph from your passport, and placing it onto your visa application form.
* Visa fee (in cash, US$ is recommended)

A: Where can I get a Laos visa on arrival?
The Lao visas on arrival are available at:
1- Lao international airports: Wattay Airport (Vientiane), Luang Prabang Airport (Luang Prabang province), Pakse Airport (Champasak province) and Savannakhet Airport (Savannakhet province).

2- Vietnam - Laos border: 6 Vietnam - Laos border crossing points that travelers can get visa on arrival.
Tay Trang- Sobboun (Lai Chau, Vietnam to Pongsaly province)
Na Meo - Banteui (Thanh Hoa, Vietnam to Huaphanh province)
Nam Can - Namkan (Nghe An Vietnam to Xiengkhuang province)
Keo Nua - Namphao (Ha Tinh, Vietnam to Bolikhamxai province)
Lao Bao - Dansavanh (Quang Tri, Vietnam to Savannakhet province)
Bo Y - Phukeua (Kon Tum, Vietnam to Attapu province)

3- Thailand - Laos border: 6 Thailand - Laos border crossing points that travelers can get visa on arrival. Most Thailand - Laos border crossing points involve Mekong river crossing. The below list is from North to South
Chiang Khong - Houy Xai (Chiang Rai, Thailand to Bokeo province)
Nakaxeng - Kaenthao (Loei, Thailand to Sayabouly province)
Nong Khai - Vientiane (Thai-Lao Freindship Bridge No. 1)
Nakon Phanom - Thakhaek (Nakon Phanom, Thailand to Khammouane province)
Mukdaharn - Savannakhet (Mukdaharn, Thailand to Savannakhet prov via Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge No.2)
Chong Mek - Vangtao (Ubon Rathchathani, Thailand to Champassak province)

4- Cambodia - Laos: At present (2013) there is only 1 border crossing that travelers can get visa on arrival.
Dong Kralor - Veun Kham (Northern Cambodia to Champasack province, southern Laos).

5- China - Laos: At present (2013) there is only 1 border crossing that travelers can get visa on arrival.
Mohan - Boten (Yunnan, China to Luang Namtha province)

A: Visa on arrival fee
Below is a list of visa fee for different countries. If your country is not on the list, it probably costs you $US30 to get the visa or you're not eligible for getting Laos visa on arrival. Please check in the list of countries that are not eligible for visa on arrival.

Nationality

Visa fee (US$)

Australia

Canada

China

India

Sweden

USA

UK

Others

30

42

20

40

31

35

35

30

Although Thai Baht is also accepted It is recommend paying your visa fee in US dollars unless you really run out of them. If you chose to pay in Thai Baht it will cost you higher.
Note: On weekends, Lao public holidays, before 8am and after 4pm weekdays, there is a $1 over time fee, in addition an entry fee (2500 Kip or so) may be charged.

A: Instruction to get visa on arrival
In most ports of entry including the Lao international border crossing points and Lao International Airports (Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse and Savannakhet) the Visa on arrival office is located at the arrival channel (before the immigration window).
Line up at the visa office (don't waste your time lining up at the immigration window if you don't have the visa yet), get the visa application form at the office and fill it out (if you arrive by plane, the form should be given to you before landing). Then hand it in together with your passport, 2 photos and the visa fee to the officer, and wait to be called.
The visa processing time varies depending on 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 office and immigration windows at the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridges.
Step to get Visa on arrival at Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge#1
It's pretty easy to get the Laos visa on arrival at the Friendship bridge.
If you arrive by bus, the visa booth is just a few foot steps from where the bus drops you off. It is the first booth before the immigration windows.
If you arrive by private car, the visa on arrival booth is on your left as all private cars are directed to the right arriving channels.
Visa on arrival office are numbered so just go in sequential order 1-2-3.
Step 1: Get visa application form at window #1, and fill it out.
Step 2: Return the completed form with 1 or 2 passport type photos and visa fee, plus over time if you arrive out side working hours, on weekend or Lao public holidays, to the official at window #1 or window #2 if it is active, and wait to be called.
Step 3: When you're called, collect your passport with the visa, at window #3 around the corner.
Usually you will get immigration stamp on your passport already when you get the visa. However, it is a good practice to check at the immigration windows to make sure everything is in order before leaving.