Laos Tourist Visa



Laos Tourist Visa is a temporary Lao immigration option that allows visitors to visit Laos for the purpose of tourism and leisure.

Laos visas are issued for a single entry and must be used within two months from the date of issue.  

A single entry visa allows you to enter Laos just once. After you leave Laos, regardless of whether or not you have used up your allowed days, you will need a new visa if you want to enter Laos again.

The Laos tourist visa is an employment prohibited, that is for a stay of up to 30 days, and can be extended twice, 30 days each time. More on Laos visa extension.

Available options to apply for Laos tourist visa

1. Apply on paper – To apply on paper you need to do it at Lao embassy or consulate in your area.

However, if there is no Lao embassy/consulate in your country or region, you may want to plan to stop in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, or other countries in this region en route to Laos, so that you can apply for the Lao visa there. Many visitors got their Lao visa this way.  Allow a couple of days for the visa processing. 

2.  Apply online   Online application is offered by a third party (private companies or service providers), and it is only available in the USA. The service providers simply lodge your application on your behalf for an overhead fee. The visa is just a normal visa, No e-visa is available for Laos to date.

3. Apply on arrival – Visa on arrival is issued at Lao international airports or international border checkpoints. Check Visa on arrival page for more information on how to apply, requirements, eligible nationalities, and fees. 

My personal recommendation is, if you are eligible for Lao visa on arrival then take full advantage of it because it is the most convenient, easiest and cheapest of all


Requirements (generally for all options)

  1. Valid passport with remaining validity of at least 6 months from the date of your entry;
  2. Two blank pages on your passport (Lao visa stamp takes up a whole page, plus there has to be space for immigration stamps too);
  3. Two recent photographs (3cmx4cm), in color, front view and with a plain/light background;
  4. Duly filled Visa Application Form with one photograph attached; 
  5. Visa fee (amount depends on your nationality and where you apply); 
  6. A copy of your itinerary.

Additional requirements to apply for visa at the embassy of the Lao PDR to Australia and New Zealand

  • A pre-paid self-addressed return envelope ( Express Mail, Registered Mail or DHL, TNT is acceptable );

    Visa fees:

  • 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”

More information or to download the application form here http://www.laosembassy.net

Additional requirements to apply for visa at the embassy of the Lao PDR to the USA

  • A copy of passport (the page contains your information); 

    Visa fees:

  • $ 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;

For more information please visit the embassy website, here www.laoembassy.com/visa&applications.html

Steps to apply for a Laos Tourist Visa

Before deciding where to apply for your Laos tourist visa, you might want to check which option suites you best and if you are eligible. Follow steps below to check it out:

Step 1: Determine if you need a visa to travel to Laos

Check if your country of citizenship is in the list of Lao visa exemption, if it is, it means that you do not need a visa to enter Laos, you can stop here, otherwise see next step.

Step 2: Determine your options 

Assuming you need to obtain a visa to travel to Laos.

  • Check if your country of citizenship is in the list here (countries in the list are not eligible for Laos visa on arrival); 
  • If it is it means that your only option is to apply for the visa Lao at embassies/consulates either by yourself or through online service providers before traveling to Laos, see next step.
  • If your country is not in the list, it means that you are eligible for visa on arrival. Now you have all the options (you are free to choose, on paper, online or on arrival)

Step 3: Apply for the Laos tourist visa

Apply on paper:

  • Review the requirements to apply for your visa;
  • Gather your documents, download the application form and complete it;
  • Go to apply in person or mail your application to the Lao PDR embassy/consulate
    (applying by mail is only available for USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). Visit these website for more info.  http://www.laosembassy.net,  www.laoembassy.com/visa&applications.html;
  • Applying for the Laos tourist visa in other countries, please check with the embassy/consulate in those specific countries.

Apply Online:

  • Review the requirements to apply for your visa;
  • Prepare electronic copies of your supporting documents;
  • Contact the service provider(s) or visit their website for more instructions.

Be reminded that entering and leaving Laos you have to obtain a correctly dated entry/exit stamp. Failure to do so may result in a fine or detention

As online application is only available through third party service providers you would  better follow instructions on their websites (travisa.com, visahq.com to name a couple). The online option is only available for the USA and Canada at the moment.

Apply On Arrival:

  • Review the requirements to apply for your visa;
  • Prepare the required documents to take with you; and
  • Lodge your visa application once you arrive either at one of Laos international airports or Laos international border checkpoints;

Visit visa on arrival page for more details.

Even though your itinerary is required in some cases, Non-refundable tickets or reservations should not be purchased until your visa is secured. 

For visa on arrival, no itinerary is required though you may need to indicate in the form your next destination.