The most convenient way to get a Lao visa especially for those who are tight on time, resources, energy and Lao embassies/consulates are too far to reach.
A Visa on Arrival is usually a tourist visa (good for 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 ahead of time and you have letter of approval (or an entry visa number) from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos.
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The Lao visas on arrival are available at:
If you intend to enter Laos as a tourist, this is the most convenient way to get your Lao visa. 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. Check out visa procedures ».
Everyone except for citizens of the countries listed under "Who CANNOT get Lao Visa on Arrival?" below.
Effective from 15 October, 2009, travelers holding passports from the following countries are not eligible for Laos Visas on Arrival.
Checked in January 2013, so far no change has been made to the list by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR.
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.tourist visa on arrival)
Download Lao visa on arrival application form
Lao visas are not required for citizens of many countries. Visit Visa Exemption page to see if you are eligible
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. Click here to check if you are in the "NOT eligible" list.
|Country||Price (US Dollar)|
Although Thai Baht is also accepted I'd 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 around 1,500 Baht which is roughly US$46 (I don't know how they come to this figure).
One thing to remember when in Laos is, if you want to save, it is better to pay in the currency quoted whether it is US dollars, Lao Kip or Thai Baht to avoid converting from one currency to another. You might want to apply this strategy when paying your hotels, restaurant and shopping bills especially if it is a large sum of money.
Note: On weekends, Lao public holidays and from 6 - 8am and after 4pm weekdays, there is a $1 over time fee, in addition an entry fee (2500 Kip or so) may be charged.
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 window is located at the arrival channel (before the immigration window).
Line up at the visa window (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 window 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 photographs and the Visa fee to the officer, and wait to be called.
The visa processing time varies between 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 window 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 Lao 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.
Windows 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.
Remember, the visa fee is best paid in US dollars. Paying in Thai Baht is more expensive.
No photos? No problems, see note above.
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, so.... no need to stand in line again at the immigration windows. However, it is a good practice to always check to make sure everything is in order before leaving.
Note: Tourist Visa holders are prohibited from obtaining employment in Laos.
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