As the unexpected can occur and plans change, foreign nationals may wonder whether they can extend their eVisa Laos while they are already in the country. It’s not unusual for travelers to decide to stay longer than originally planned in order to explore more of the lush jungles, mouthwatering cuisine, and unique culture that Laos has to offer.
But if the Laos eVisa application can be completed in minutes from anywhere in the world before departure, renewing the visa while in Laos might be more complicated. In this article, travelers will find useful information regarding the Laos eVisa extension and renewal as well as how to apply for other visa extensions while in the country.
How to obtain a Laos eVisa Renewal
The validity of the eVisa for Laos is of 60 days upon receiving the approval letter. However, foreigners are only allowed to stay in the country for 30 days once they cross the border and officially enter Laos on a eVisa or Laotian Approval Letter.
If eVisa holders leave Laos before their visa expires and wish to return, they will need to apply for a new eVisa (or one of the other applicable visa types for Laos) before entering Laos again — even if their eVisa is still valid. They will not be able to apply for a eVisa renewal from outside Laos. That’s because the Laos eVisa is a single-entry permit that can only be used once to cross the border.
If travelers wish to extend their eVisa while in Laos and the visa is still valid, the best option is to get in touch with the local immigration authorities. The eVisa holder may be asked to leave the country and apply for a new online visa from abroad.
Several other types of visas can be extended without having to exit Laos. Foreign nationals can visit the immigration office themselves or hire a travel agent or specialist provider to get assistance with their paperwork (this is especially useful with longer-term visas and permits that may include complicated forms).
Requirements to extend tourist visas do not differ much from the standard eVisa requirements for entry to Laos: applicants will need to provide their passport and passport-size photos and pay the relevant visa renewal application fees. They will also need to make sure they comply with the requirements relevant to applying for a visa for Laos with a criminal conviction.
How Much Does It Cost to Extend a Laos eVisa?
Since the best way to renew a Laos eVisa is to exit the country and apply anew from abroad, foreign nationals wishing to get a new eVisa will need to pay the eVisa application fee again. This can be done online with a debit or credit card.
The cost of extending other Laos visas will depend on the type of visa the traveler decides to get an extension for. For in-person applications at the immigration office, the government may charge a service fee on top of the application fee. Moreover, some visa extensions are subject to extension fees that are calculated per day.
Overstaying with the Laos Online Visa
Overstaying one’s Laos visa is never a good idea. By staying longer than the visa allows, the visa holder is openly breaking the terms and conditions of their visa — whether they’ve entered Laos on a traditional tourist visa, a work permit, or a eVisa.
Consequences of not respecting the validity of the visa may vary. The traveler may face a penalty fee, which is calculated per day of unauthorized stay. Once the visa holder attempts to go through passport control on their way out of Laos, they will be charged by the border control officers. Especially on minor airports, however, fees can be unpredictable.
Breaking the terms of one’s visa also means disrespecting immigration policies and Laos law. Not just in Laos but around the world, this may result in being flagged by immigration authorities. Several countries have digitized databases and may share information regarding unauthorized stays thanks to diplomatic agreements. As a result, the overstayer may face delays and challenges when applying for a Laos visa — and in some cases, visas for other nations — in the future. Their application may even be rejected.
Foreign nationals who find themselves unable to avoid overstays should get in touch with the immigration authorities as soon as possible.