Everything you need to know about a Laos visa
travelers do need a visa to travel to Laos. But the good news is, you can opt
for several methods if you wish to apply for a Laos tourist visa.
Tourist visa on arrival
A Laos Tourist Visa on Arrival can be obtained after arrival upon payment of the required visa fee, which amounts to US$35 or Thai Baht 1,500.00.
You will need to present your UK passport, accompanied by a passport-size photo. Upon approval, the VOA will be stamped on your passport.
A Laos Tourist E-visa can be obtained in advance online. Do note that you can use an e-visa to enter Laos only through the Vientiane or Luang Prabang airports or through the Friendship Bridge 1 from Nong Khai.
In order to apply for an e-visa, you need to fill in your details online. You will need to submit a scanned copy of your United Kingdom passport, which holds a minimum validity of six months from the date of arrival in Laos.
You will also need to upload a passport-size photograph. Please note that the proposed entry date should be five days after the day of lodging an application.
Once you receive your e-visa, you need to present it to the authorities at the airport, who will then stamp the actual visa on your passport.
A Laos tourist e-visa is valid for up to two months, is issued in single entry, and allows a maximum stay span of up to 30 days.
When you enter Laos either on a VOA or an e-visa, please ensure that you do not overstay the granted stay limit. Else, you might need to pay a heavy fine.
Tourist visas can be extended twice and up to a total span of up to 90 days. You have to apply for an extension via the Immigration Department in Laos, every 30 days.
Laos traditional visa
The final option is the regular visa obtained in advance through the Lao Embassy in London. Below is the complete address:
Embassy of Laos in London
Location: Bayswater, London
Address: 49 Porchester Terrace, London, W2 3TS
Please note that if you wish, you can even apply for a regular Laos tourist visa. Apart from this, if your trip includes a business visit, you have to apply for a regular visa. You cannot directly obtain a business VOA or e-visa.
Regular tourist visa
In order to apply for a regular tourist visa, you will require:
- A completely filled and signed visa application form
- A passport, which is valid for at least six months and contains a minimum of two blank pages
- A recent passport-size photograph
- Evidence of travel and accommodation arrangements
Regular business visa
The application for a business visa is a bit tricky. The embassy does not issue direct business visas. You first need to apply for a regular tourist visa through the consul in London. After you arrive in Laos, you need to convert it into a business visa at customs.
Please note that Thailand currently allows only two crossings each year at the land border between Laos and Thailand.
You should also be aware of the number of airlines that allow boarding of flights to Laos if you do not carry a visa.
You can use UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) at points of entry, airside transit and exit from Laos. If you enter Laos through a UK ETD, you have to obtain an entry visa from the Lao embassy or consulate.
If you lose your passport, you need to lodge a report at the nearest police station and get a police report. After that, you have to obtain a certificate of loss from the Immigration Department in Vientiane - a process that takes one to two business days.
Once you get the ETD from the British Embassy, you will also need to obtain an exit visa from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a process that can take up to three business days.