All foreign visitors to Laos need a Laos Visa to enter the country, except for citizens of Japan, The Republic of Korea, Russia, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and ASEAN member countries. Passport holders of these countries are eligible to enter Laos and stay for 15-30 days without a visa.
This section provides information about all available types of Visa for Laos, depending on nationality (according to your passport), the purpose of your visit and how long you plan to stay in Laos.
Visit Visa for Laos is for citizens of countries that don't have a visa exemption agreement with Laos, who hold ordinary passports and intend to visit relatives working or living in Laos. It is available from Lao embassies or Consulates in foreign countries.
Visitors holding this type of Laos visa can remain in Laos for up to 30 days and can extend by up to a further two months, but are not entitled to work or apply for multiple entry visas.
Applicants for a Laos visit visa need to have a proof of a guarantor in Laos (a guarantee letter certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos), and need to allow at least 3-5 working days for consulate to issue the visa.
Requirements are same as those for tourist visa plus a proof of guarantor in Laos.
A Business Visa is for businesspersons, or those will be working in Laos for a company, a project, or an organisation, who hold ordinary passports and have someone to "sponsor" them (a company or individual in Laos).
A multiple entry visa can be obtained for a period of 3 months, 6 months or 1 year from Lao embassies or Consulates in foreign countries (provided that it is arranged in advance).
Your "sponsor" in Laos (a company, an individual or an organisation that you will be working with) must go to the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in Vientiane to request a visa for you by offering a "guarantee".
Once this request is approved by the MoFA, the approval will be communicated to the Lao Embassy specified by your sponsor at the time s/he requested the visa in Vientiane.
Your sponsor then needs to give you a proof of MoFA's approval as you will be asked for it (can be a copy of the approved letter or just its reference number). Once you have this, you then can apply for the business visa for Laos at the specified Lao Embassy or Laos checkpoints (on your arrival).
The process is quite lengthy, it normally takes 1-3 months and you need to have someone in Laos to do it for you. Most people use the service of specialist providers or travel agents.
A Transit Visa for Laos is available for travellers transiting through Laos to a third country. Holders of this type of Laos visa can stay in Laos for up to 7 days. Work is prohibited and it is not extendable.
Travellers applying for a transit visa are required to show a proof of an onward journey (such as an air ticket and entry visa for the third country) within seven days.
A Diplomatic Visa is issued to diplomatic passport holders, including consular officers, heads of the United Nations Agencies and International Organisations, and their spouses and children.
The diplomatic visa is exempted from a visa fee. Multiple entry visas for a period of one year can be obtained and can be renewed each year till the completion of assignments.
The Official Visa is similar to the diplomatic one (exempted from a Laos visa fee), however, it is for staff members of Diplomatic Missions, Consulates, United Nations Agencies and other International Organisations and their spouses and children holding official passports.
Multiple entry visas for a period of one year can be obtained and can be renewed every year till the completion of their assignments.
The Courtesy Visa is for foreign experts and their spouses and children holding diplomatic, official and ordinary passports taking assignments under bilateral cooperation or grant assistance projects for the Government of Laos.
The courtesy visa is exempted from a Laos visa fee. Multiple entry visas for a period of 6 months can be obtained and can be renewed every 6 months till the completion of their assignments.
All Laos visas are issued for single entry and must be used within two months from the date of issue.
Most Laos visa types (except for Transit Visa) are extendable. Once in Laos you can get your Laos visa extended. Check out how to do it »
Note: All efforts are made to keep information on this page up-to-date, however, it is recommended that you contact the Lao embassy or consulate near you for the most current visa information.