R-A Home Page

R-A Site Index

Free Asia App

Free Downloads

Website Policy

Write to us or

Visit our Blog

  LIVING IN ASIA 

Early Retirement

Introduction to Asia

R-A Site Objectives

A 'Sovereign Life'

Expats & 'Fitting In'

Before Your Move

Cultural Differences

Language Learning

Making New Friends

Retirement Health

Insurance Issues

  TRAVEL TO ASIA 

Destinations in Asia

Asia's Best Beaches

All Asia Fast Facts

Asia Fast Facts (App)

Do I Need a Visa?

US Passports, Visas

Cheap Flights, Hotels

Vacations in Asia

Cruise to/around Asia

Asia Internet, Mobile

SE Asia eBooks

Weather in SE Asia

Retire SE Asia Intro

Bali Island, ID

Indonesia, ID

Chiang Mai, TH

Vientiane, LA

Philippines, PH

Singapore, SG

KL, Malaysia, MY

Cambodia, KH

Vietnam, VN

Brunei, BN

Timor-Leste, TL

Myanmar, MM

 FINANCE/BANKING

Asia Banks, Transfer

Credit and Wealth

Offshore Banking

Interest Calculator/
Currency Conversio
n

Gold Bullion Account

Forex Trading

Options Trading

Business in Asia

Corruption in Asia

  POPULAR PLACES 

  PHILIPPINES

Introduction to Phils

Retiring in Paradise?

Vacation Rentals

Business and Work

Filipina are Women!

Sending Money

  THAILAND

Introduction, News

Visas for Thailand

Thailand Vacations

Living in Chiangmai

Koh Samui Report

Foreigner Business

A Bar in Thailand?

  LAO PDR - Laos

Lao Introduction

Brief Lao History

Life for Foreigners

The 'Heart' of Lao

Accommodation

Eating & Drinking

Vientiane by Night

Travelling to Laos

Lao Arrival Visa

Banks, ATM, Cash

Lao Phones, Internet

Getting Around Laos

Lao Silk and Cotton

 MALAYSIA +S'pore

Malaysia & UK Expats

Travel in Malaysia

Vacation Rentals

Singapore for Expats

 INDONESIA +Bali

Introduction

Bali Introduction

Contrasts of Bali

Bali Vacations

Vacation Rentals

A Business in Bali

How to Retire in Bali

Indonesia Vacations

  VIETNAM  

Introduction to VN

  CAMBODIA  

Introduction to KH

  BRUNEI  

Brunei Darussalam

  MORE S.E. ASIA 

Myanmar

East, West Timor

Other Parts of Asia

Retire to Asia Books

 HEALTH MATTERS 

Health & Medicine

Retiree lnsurance

Arthritis Sufferers

Self Help Hypnosis

Natural Remedies

  FOREX & STOCKS 

Forex Trading - 1

Forex Trading - 2

Forex Trading - 3

Free Forex Training

Gold, Silver Trading

Stocks & Trading

ETF Trend Trading

Traders Glossary

Options Trading

Investing Online

Retire in 5 Years?

 ONLINE INCOME

Internet Business

Internet Wealth

Internet Scams

  OTHER INCOME  

Teaching Abroad

Teaching English

TEFL Certification

Teacher in 10 Days?

  MISCELLANEOUS 

Asia Language Aids

SE Asia eBooks

New Friends Online

GSM Mobile Phones

Micro SD Memory Fix

USB & 3G Devices

 Comment/Question?
 Visit the R-A Blog

 

 Updated: July 30 '14

 

   © 2005-14 Retire-Asia.com    

 


 

 

Lao Visa Form
(click to enlarge for download)

Lao Visa on Arrival thumbnail

Correct size is
16cm x 27cm

  Fly Roundtrip for $199 or Less on CheapOair








Great deals to, from and within Asia as well!

A Tourist Visa for the Lao PDR is available on arrival in Laos or from a Lao Embassy 

For most passport holders* in 2014, a 30-day Lao Visa on arrival can be purchased at road/river border crossing point ports of entry, except some overland from Cambodia.

Visas for Laos are needed for all passports except Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, Luxembourg and Switzerland. According to agreements made since 2005, ASEAN country citizens should be given free entry for 15 days. However, visitors from Indonesia and other ASEAN countries are being charged for entry into Laos. This may also apply at other ASEAN country border control where the free entry agreement has not been implemented or is being ignored.

* While most foreign visitors are eligible for a Lao Visa On Arrival, from October 2009, passport holders of 29 countries require a visa from a Lao Embassy or Consulate.

African countries that need a Lao visa BEFORE ARRIVAL from an embassy include: Algeria, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Other countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Nauru, Tonga, Surinam.

Generally, to save time and inconvenience when visiting many countries which require visas before arrival, it's often easier to get them before you leave home. You can apply to each country's Embassy (allow plenty of time) or get all your visas in one go at PassportVisasExpress who also process applications for Lao visas for US and Canadian passports.

If there is no Lao Embassy or consular office in your country, such as the United Kingdom (Paris is the closest), then unless you're from one of the excluded countries, just arrive at the Lao border with US$35 and a photo, and get a VOA. Click the image on the right to see, save or print out the Arrival Visa Form. Laos Embassy locator ==>

A one- or two-month (60-day) tourist visa is only available from Lao Embassies and Consulates. In Asia and the Asia-Pacific region these are in India, Malaysia, Philippines, Timor Leste, Brunei, Hong Kong, North Korea, South Korea, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Japan and Australia. See below for details on some Lao Embassies in Asia. The Lao PDR Embassy in Singapore is at the Goldhill Centre in Thomson Road.

Lao Visa Prices

TRAVEL INFORMATION
– ASIAN COUNTRIES

Afghanistan

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Bangladesh

Bhutan

Brunei

Burma (Myanmar)

Cambodia

China

Christmas Island

Cocos Is (Keeling)

East Timor

Georgia

Hong Kong

India

Indonesia & Bali

Japan

Kazakhstan

North Korea

South Korea

Kyrgyzstan

Laos

Macau

Malaysia

Maldives

Mongolia

Myanmar (Burma)

Nepal

Pakistan

Philippines

Singapore

Sri Lanka

Taiwan

Tajikistan

Thailand

Timor Leste

Turkmenistan

Uzbekistan

Vietnam

MAPS OF ASIA

 

TRAVEL INFORMATION FOR OTHER WORLD TERRITORIES

POLAR REGIONS

Greenland

Iceland

Alaska (USA)

Aleutian Islands (Alaska)

South Georgia

Antarctica

AMERICA

Canada

United States

Mexico

Caribbean (All)

Cuba

Belize

Costa Rica

El Salvador

Guatemala

Haiti

Honduras

Montserrat

Netherlands Antilles

Nicaragua

Panama

Puerto Rico

Argentina

Bolivia

Brazil

Chile

Colombia

Ecuador

French Guiana

Guyana

Paraguay

Peru

Suriname

Uruguay

Venezuela

EUROPE

Albania

Andorra

Austria

Belarus

Belgium

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bulgaria

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Eritrea

Faroe Islands

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Kosovo

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Moldova

Monaco

Montenegro

Netherlands

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Macedonia

Romania

Russia

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Turkey

Ukraine

United Kingdom

MIDDLE EAST

Bahrain

Iran

Israel

Jordan

Kuwait

Lebanon

Oman

Palestine

Qatar

Saudi Arabia

Syria

United Arab Emirates

Yemen

PACIFIC OCEAN

American Samoa

Australia

Cook Islands

Micronesia

Fiji

French Polynesia

Mariana Islands

New Caledonia

New Zealand

Niue

Palau

Papua New Guinea

Samoa

Solomon Islands

Tonga

Tuvalu

Vanuatu

AFRICAN REGION

Algeria

Angola

Benin

Botswana

Burkina Faso

Cameroon

Cape Verde

Chad

Comoros Islands

Cote d'Ivoire

Dem Republic Congo

Djibouti

Egypt

Equatorial Guinea

Eritrea

Ethiopia

Gabon

Gambia

Ghana

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau

Kenya

Lesotho

Liberia

Libya

Madagascar

Malawi

Mali

Mauritania

Mauritius

Morocco

Mozambique

Namibia

Niger

Nigeria

Republic of the Congo

Reunion Island

Rwanda

Sao Tome & Principe

Senegal

Seychelles

South Africa

Sudan

Swaziland

Tanzania

Togo

Tunisia

Uganda

Zambia

Zimbabwe
 

The 30 day visa on arrival in the Lao PDR is available at all ports of entry in Laos including the airports of the main cities. Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse. You should have one small photo. Visa cost ranges from $20 (China) to $42 (Canada) plus $1 'overtime' after 4pm. Sweden is $31, $35 for the USA, UK and most of Europe, $40 for India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and $30 for Australia and other countries. The full list is on display at the Visa Application window. Japanese visitors to Lao no longer need a visa and ASEAN country passport holders should not have to pay for a 15 day entry stamp. But you don't argue with an immigration official, even if you think he may be putting the money in his pocket!

US dollars in smaller denominations can be used freely in much of Laos, so try to arrive with at least enough US$ notes for your visa. Thai currency (baht) can also be used in Lao, but paying for a Lao visa with Thai baht costs much more than with US dollar bills due to the extortionate exchange rate used by Lao Immigration e.g. UK passport is $36 (inc. overtime) or 1,500 baht (about $47), a difference of over $10 or 350 baht. 

Extending a Lao Visa. If you apply before the expiry date, visas can be extended for about $1 per day in Vientiane. The Immigration office is in the 'bank soi' off Lang Xang Avenue opposite the Morning Market. On the corner is the Joint Development Bank (JDB) head office which has ATMs for VISA and MasterCard. Further along the road is ANZ Laos. See Lao Banks & ATMs for detailed information.

By the way, if you're visiting Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) or Phnom Penh before your trip to the Lao PDR, you get US dollars from Cambodia's ATMs. See Banking in SE Asia. You should also apply for a Lao Visa in Phnom Penh if you are entering Laos by land from Cambodia, as a visa on arrival is not available. You can however exit Laos and enter Cambodia.

You can also obtain your Lao Visa in the USA in advance from an agency or from a Lao Embassy in your country. If you prefer to have all your visas in your passport before you arrive in the countries that require them, then visit the PassportVisasExpress website where you can also apply for a US Passport if you don't have one yet, renew, add new pages or replace a lost or stolen US passport.

Note that many travellers entering Thailand from the Lao PDR or other country will not need a Thai visa. Note also that the regulations changed in June 2009 and restrictions on entries to Thailand apply to tourists and foreign residents of neighbouring countries. Check our Thailand Visa page. After 2010, Thai tourist visas were no longer free.

Visa procedure at the Thai Lao Friendship Bridge, Nongkhai
Opening times are usually from 6 am to 10 pm.
Unless you are unlucky and arrive just after a large tour group, the wait for your visa is usually 10 to 15 minutes. Delays are possible when there are long queues at Immigration. As with everything in Lao, there's never a rush.

It's worth noting that Immigration can be slow and frustrating on the Thai side too. If you are in a hurry, best to avoid late afternoons, public holidays and weekends in either country, when both tourists and locals cross the border in substantial numbers.

There are Thai baht ATMs just before Thai Immigration, for VISA, MasterCard etc. The next are on the Lao side both at the Bridge and outside several factories on the routes into the city. They accept VISA and Cirrus cards, but dispense Lao kip, usable only within the Lao PDR.

* Visa on arrival facilities now exist at 14 land border crossings and river ports of entry to the Lao PDR from Thailand, China and Vietnam including Mittaphap (Friendship) Bridge & Nongkhai, Houayxay & Xiengkhong, Thakhek & Nakhonphanom, Savannakhet & Mukdahan, Vangtao & Xongmek, Namphao & Cautreo, Densavanh & Laobao, Naphao & Chalo, Boten & Bohane, Namkane & Namekane, Namsoue & Nameo and Paksane & Beungkane. We cannot confirm the Cambodia/Lao crossing points issue visas.

If you already have a Lao Visa in your passport, you only need to fill in an Arrival/Departure form (similar to the Thailand one) available in the arrivals area or from the Visa on Arrival window. Just ask for the form. Fill in both sections, using any guesthouse or hotel name (Lao Plaza, Novotel (now Mercure), Mekong) as your address – no one cares. Present the completed form with your passport at a Foreign Passports booth and you will be 'stamped in'.
Make sure you get 30 days entry and not just 15 as previously. 

WARNING: DO NOT USE A NONGKHAI AGENT TO GET YOUR LAO VISA AS LAO IMMIGRATION HAS OUTLAWED THE USE OF THESE SERVICES. Also be aware that certain hotels and guesthouses in Vietnam offer SCAM visa services.

Visa Services may still be offered by Nongkhai travel agencies, guest houses or hotels and other shops near the bridge when selling tours to Laos. You would pay substantially more than the visa fee and achieve nothing except a few minutes of time. The correct procedure is to apply for a 30 day Lao visa-on-arrival on the Lao side of the river, with usually a short delay unless there are a lot of people ahead of you. It's quite straightforward when you know how:

If you do NOT already have a Lao visa, DO NOT queue at the Foreign Passports Arrivals Booth. Ask for the two forms you need at the left hand Visa-on-arrival window at the front of the building.

First, fill in the simple Visa Application form and hand it back together with your passport, one photo and the fee (there is a list of countries and fees ranging from $30 to $42 – see above) in US dollars cash. On weekends and holidays there is often a $1 surcharge.

Second, take your time to complete both halves of the Arrivals/Departure form. Wait 10 minutes or so until your name (or something resembling it!) is called from the right hand window, collect your passport with its (previously 15 but now) 30 day visa, and proceed to one of the Foreign Passports arrivals booths, where you will be processed. Check to make sure you are stamped in for thirty days and not fifteen as previously. 

If you have a two month visa, make sure they give you two months. Sometimes they put thirty days by mistake on the stamp.

Walk past Customs; they rarely stop foreign tourists unless they are carrying a lot of extra bags. At the Entry Fee booth pay 10 or 20 baht. The final stop is a uniformed official who briefly checks your passport and the entry receipts. Welcome to Lao!

If you want to stock up on imported liquor and cigarettes, you can buy them freely at the Duty Free shops on the Lao side. However, liquor prices are much the same as in town and very cheap compared to Thailand. Most people take a bottle of something when they go back to Nongkhai.

More information and other types of Lao visa for longer term stay.

Transport into the City

Vientiane city centre is about 25 km or 15 miles from Mittaphab (Friendship Bridge). You will be approached by drivers offering a taxi to the city for 200 baht. Tuk-tuks are 100 baht per person. 

Other transport options from the bridge include the commuter bus which is usually crowded, but cheap at 4000 kip. The stop is outside the public car park. Sharing a taxi or tuk-tuk are possibly the best choices. Mini buses with their transport and tour prices displayed on a board in the arrivals area are available too. If you are in a group, this might be an economical option if you want to go somewhere specific.

Thailand-Lao PDR International Bus Service

Daily direct services: Udon Thani – Vientiane, and Nong Khai – Vientiane, via the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River, using 45-seat air-conditioned VIP buses. See our Lao Travel page for the timetable.

Foreign visitors already holding visas can use this service too, but as the visa on arrival takes some time, the bus may leave you at the Bridge. Travelling from Vientiane to Thailand is no problem as 30 day visits for most nationalities are Thai visa-free for these countries.

Thai citizens can travel using a 3-day/2-night Temporary Border Pass valid for visits to Vientiane, while Thai residents of Nong Khai province (many of whom have Lao relatives) can apply for an Annual Border Pass.

Lao citizens have similar facilities and can use a Border Pass for short visits. A passport and Thai Visa is required for travel beyond Nongkhai and Udonthani, and there are sometimes road blocks which check bus passengers' papers.

Departing Lao and arriving in Thailand (Nongkhai)

Leaving the Lao PDR to enter Thailand at Nongkhai via the Friendship Bridge is a simple procedure, except that a new departure procedure was introduced in 2013. Lao Pay Pass has a booth at the entrance, where you must show your passport for visa checking and overstay payment if necessary. There is also an automated gate system to pass through after queuing at a Departure booth where your passport will be stamped out. If you were not given a card at Pay Pass, you will be assisted through the gate by Customs staff.  

Most travellers buy a 10 baht (or 2500 kip) ticket for the shuttle bus to cross the Mekong River and enter Thailand. You will be approached by touts offering taxis and mini buses to Nong Khai or Udon Thani. Ignore them unless you can negotiate a good price for a group (see below). The shuttle bus stops at Thai Immigration where you must present a completed Arrival/Departure Form. The form must be requested from a counter near the Entry points. If you are a regular traveller, see TIP BELOW. Complete both sections and hand the form with your passport at the Entry Booth.

After being stamped in to Thailand for 15 days entry by land crossing (30 days for arrivals by air or with a tourist visa), you are entitled to continue to the nearby Bus Station in the shuttle bus or a song-taew (red pickup). Don't pay extra unless you want to be taken somewhere beyond the bus station. From there you can take a tuk-tuk into the city, train station, Lotus Tesco, or to your hotel. This will cost around 50 baht per person depending on the distance.

TIP: When returning to Thailand after a visit to Laos or other country, try to get a blank Thai Arrival/Departure form before you cross the border. It will save you time when you come back. If you have a previously filled out form you can go direct to the Entry Booth, ahead of any foreigner who hasn't read this paragraph!

Warning for foreigners on 'Visa Runs' from Thailand

Thai Immigration law now discourages foreigners living, working or retiring in Thailand without the correct visa. Passports are checked for previous entry stamps within the past six months. If they show more than 90 days spent in Thailand, re-entry will given only to those with a visa obtained at a Thai embassy, until a further 90 days has elapsed.  If this applies to you, be prepared before you leave on your next 'visa run'. If you return with a visitor visa you can apply for a Thai retirement visa which is available for those over 50 who qualify for the minimum income requirements. More information and options are described on our Thai Visa page. 

Expat residents of neighbouring countries (usually identified by a Business Visa for another country in their passport) are not affected and should be given a Thailand entry stamp if arriving by land for 14 days or 30 days by air.

Notes for travellers to Udonthani (or flying to Bangkok or Chiangmai)

After being stamped in and walking past Customs, touts will offer you various rides into town or to Udon Thani. Haggling is the order of the day. Try to share with other foreigners going in the same direction. A 1200 baht minibus ride to Udon shared between 4 or more passengers is reasonably priced, convenient and more comfortable than the public buses. These cost between 30 and 60 baht, but run only from the main bus station on the Nongkhai-Udon highway. If you are flying from Udonthani to Bangkok or Chiangmai, you can also take the Airport Limousine (air-con bus service for 120 baht) which has several pickup points around town including one at a travel agency between the bridge bus station and Nongkhai. A tuk-tuk there will cost about 40 baht per person. The 'Limousine' service doesn't co-ordinate with all flights (there are several airlines now), so you need to check the times beforehand. The trip takes about 50 minutes and you should try to get there one hour before flight departure.

LAOS EMBASSIES IN ASIA

Laos Embassy Brunei Darussalam
Thanon Darussalam Lot No. 19824, House No. 11
Simfang 480 Jalang Kebang Saan Lama 3786
Off Jalang MuaraBander Seri Begawan 3786
Tel: (+637) 02 - 345 666
Fax: (+673) 02 - 456 888

Laos Embassy Cambodia
1517 Thanon Keomani
P.O. Box 19, Phnom Penh
Tel: (+855 23) 26441, 24781
Fax: (+855 23) 27454

Laos Embassy Beijing, P.R. China
San Litun Dongsi Jie
Beijing 100600
Tel: (+86 1) 5321224
Fax: (+86 1) 5326748

Lao Consulate General Yunnan, P.R. China
Room 3226 Canellia Hotel, 154 East Dong Feng Road
650041 Kunming
Tel: (+86 871) 3176623-24
Fax: (+86 871) 3178556

Lao Embassy Indonesia
Jalan Kintamani Raya C15 No33
Kuningan Timur, Jarkata 12950
Tel:(+62 22) 5202673, 5229602
Fax: (+62 22) 5229601

Lao Embassy India
Parmanand Estate
A-104/7, Maharani Bagh
New Delhi-110065
Tel: (+91 11) 632 3048
Fax: (+91 11) 632 3048

Lao Embassy Japan
3322 Nishi Azabu, Minato-Ku
Tokyo 106
Tel:(+81 3) 5411 2291, 5411 2292
Fax: (+81 3) 5411 2293

Lao Embassy Malaysia
108 Jalan Damai, 55000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (+60 3) 248 3895, 242 0344
Fax: (+60 3) 242 0344

Laos Embassy Mongolia
Ikh Toiruu P.O. Box: 1030 Ulan Bator
Tel: (+976 1) 326440, 329898

Lao Embassy Myanmar (Burma)
NA 1 Diplomatic Quarters 
Franser Road, Yangon (Rangoon)
Tel: (+95 1) 22482, 27445
Fax: (+95 1) 27446

Laos Embassy Philippines
34 Lapu - Lapu Street
Magallaness Village
Makati City Manila
Tel/Fax: (+63 2) 833-5759

Laos Embassy Singapore
179-B Gold Hill Centre Thomson Road
Singapore 
Tel: (+65) 250 60 44, 250 67 41, 250 60 14

Laos Embassy Thailand
520, 502/ 1-3 Soi Ramkhaheang 39
Bangkapi, Bangkok 10310
Tel.: 539 7341; 539 6667-8
Fax.: 539 3827; 539 6678
Lao Consulate General Khonkaen
19/1-3 Phothisarn Road, Khonkaen, Khonkaen
Tel: (+43) 223473, 223698

Laos Embassy United Kingdom
For information only. There is no Lao diplomatic representation in the UK, although in April 2013 the British Embassy in Vientiane reopened after 27 years. Nearest Lao Embassy to the UK is in Paris, France

Laos Embassy Vietnam
22 Rue Tran Binh Trong,
Hanoi
Tel: (+84 4) 254576, 296746
Fax: (+84 4) 228414

Lao Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City
181 Hai Ba Trung, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: (+84 8) 299275, 297667
Fax: (+84 8) 299272

Lao Consulate General Danang
12 Tran Quy Cap, Danang
Tel: (+84 51) 21208, 24101
Fax: (+84 51) 22628

Remember, unless you are from one of the countries ineligible (see top of page), it's easier to get your Lao visa on arrival at the border or airport.

Here are links to some more of our pages about the Lao PDR:

Introduction to Laos

Some Lao History

Banks, ATMs and Cash in the Lao PDR

Travel in and around the Lao PDR

Accommodation in Vientiane and Luang Prabang

Food for all tastes and Drinks in Lao

Nightlife and Entertainment in Vientiane

Meeting Lao People and Dating

Home Page

 

© 2005-2014 Retire-Asia.com
All rights reserved.

 

 Make your success certain by using our incredible iseeq - real estate lead generation study packages and testinside cissp. We are providing the best actualtests cissp and selftestengine cissp training solutions for preparations. You can also get passguide mcat from our website.