The government of Laos is expected to implement an electronic visa system in the coming months. Travelers from eligible countries will be able to obtain the eVisa for Laos by completing an online application form with their personal details and passport information.
Laos joins several other countries across the world that have already implemented electronic visa systems. The Laos eVisa system should contribute to smoother immigration controls. Many countries, including Laos, hope that by providing an online visa more foreign visitors will be drawn to visit them, thus benefiting the growing tourism industry.
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic will not the be the first country in Southeast Asia to have an electronic visa system. At the moment, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar offer an online visa option for tourism purposes. The electronic system for Laos is being developed and the eVisa for Laos should be introduced soon.
According to the Vientiane Times, the electronic visa services are set to be offered at the end of this year or early in 2019 in a move to attract more tourists. Only foreign tourists of specific nations will be eligible to apply for the eVisa for Laos. This online visa will be a single entry visa and will grant its holder a stay of up to 30 days. At the moment, tourists can extend their stay in Laos by paying 10 USD per additional day.
Currently, foreigners of many countries including Australia, Canada, the U.S., and European Union member countries can get the Laos visa on arrival when they land or enter in any of the 22 selected international border checkpoints. Travelers with a passport from some Middle Eastern and African countries are required to apply for a Laos tourist visa at an embassy or consulate.
What are the benefits of a Laos eVisa
Introducing an online visa should have a positive impact. The Laos eVisa system will reduce the number of people who need to get a visa on arrival. Tourists will simply need to apply online for their eVisa for Laos and will receive their approved visa on their email inbox.
At the moment, the visa on arrival fee varies depending on the date and time of arrival. For instance, there’s an extra fee for travelers who arrive on a weekend or public holiday.
The Laos visa on arrival also requires that travelers provide two passport-style photos with their completed application form. If travelers don’t have the required photos, they will need to pay an extra fee. After providing the form and photos to an immigration officer, travelers have to wait for their application to be reviewed. Once it has been checked, they’re called back to get their visa and passport.
The Laos online visa should make it easier for foreign travelers to get through the immigration control, as their details would already be checked by the Laos online visa system. At the same time, those who can apply for a Laos eVisa will only pay for a single fee, instead of varying fees as it occurs now with the visa on arrival.
The Laos eVisa requirements are still to be communicated by the Government of Laos. However, it is likely that those who wish to obtain an online visa to visit Laos will need a valid passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the expected date of arrival, a debit or credit card to pay the visa fee, and an email address to receive the approved eVisa.
Why visit Laos with the Laos eVisa
The only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, Laos offers visitors a fascinating history, culture and heritage. From natural wonders to a flavorful gastronomy, travelers will enjoy exploring Laos and discovering its hidden gems.
Present day Laos traces its historic and cultural identity to the kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Khao which translates to Kingdom of a Million Elephants Under the White Parasol. Laos is the most ethnically diverse region in Southeast Asia, with over 20 minority groups living in the mountains. Each group maintains their customs, religious beliefs, textiles, music and architecture styles. Visitors can go trekking to visit these villages and get to know locals. Tours and homestays can be arranged to dive deeper into these diverse cultures.
Laos is home to stunning waterfalls. A perfect example is the aquamarine multi-tiered Kuang Si falls situated in Luang Prabang. Travelers can also head to the incredible Khone Phapheng Falls near the Cambodia border. Here, it is possible to swim in the basins and hike through the jungle.
Those who love art and taking home souvenirs will find in Laos meticulous handicrafts. Silk weaving in Laos is traditionally done by women and visitors will find beautifully made textiles. Smithing of silver and other precious metals is practised by certain monks and tribes.
Those who wish to visit Laos will encounter an authentic Asia. There’s a unique timeless quality found in the rural areas of the country. When planning a trip to Laos travelers are advised to check the entry requirements and have a valid passport. The eVisa for Laos will be available shortly.