Do I need a visa on arrival for Laos?
Whether you need a visa on arrival for Laos or not will depend on your nationality. Only eligible citizens can obtain a visa on arrival. Citizens of several countries can obtain their visa upon arrival as long as they meet the requirements.
The Laos visa on arrival is granted to travelers who are visiting Laos for tourism purposes. It is a single entry visa and allows a 30-day stay in the country.
From June 2019, the Government of Laos is implementing a new Laos electronic visa, which is expected to be available for many of the Laos visa on arrival countries. The eVisa will also be valid for a single entry stay of up to 30 days in the country. Once implemented, applicants will be able to obtain the eVisa through a simple online Laos eVisa application form, eliminating the need for long waiting times for a visa on arrival at border entry points.
Laos visa on arrival countries
Citizens of several eligible countries including Australia, Canada, the United States and European Union member countries can obtain a visa on arrival for Laos. Travelers simply need to meet the Laos visa on arrival requirements to get their visa at a port of entry.
From June 2019, many of these same countries will be able to obtain a Laos tourist visa exclusively online through the new Laos eVisa application. The Laos online visa is being implemented to expedite the visa application process, and allow eligible citizens to avoid long waits for a visa on arrival at the Lao border.
There are a few nationalities that aren’t required to obtain the visa on arrival. Citizens of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreements with Laos since 2005. Japan, South Korea, Russia and Switzerland have visa-free access to Laos and can stay in the country for up to 15 days.
Laos visa on arrival requirements
The requirements for a Laos visa on arrival are as follows:
- An original passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of arrival in Laos.
- A completed visa application form signed by the applicant.
- Two recent passport-type photographs in color and with a light background.
- Cash to pay for the visa fee and additional costs if they apply
The visa on arrival application form is available at 22 ports of entry in Laos or when traveling by plane are given by the airline before landing.
If the traveler does not have a photo, there is an additional fee for scanning the photo from their passport. Those who wish to visit Laos should also know that there are additional charges for the visa if you arrive between 6:00 and 8:00 in the morning, on a weekend, or on a national holiday.
How to get a visa on arrival for Laos
To get a visa on arrival for Laos the traveler should have all of the documentation listed on this site: their passport, two photographs and the completed form.
On arrival, the traveler should head to the window marked “On Arrival”. The immigration window is only for people who already have the visa.
If the traveler hasn’t already filled the application, it is advised to complete the visa on arrival form by the window. Once completed, the traveler should submit the form and the two photographs to the immigration official at the “on arrival” window.
To finalize the process, the traveler is expected to pay the visa fee in cash. It is possible to pay for this fee in american dollars. After providing all the documentation, travelers are asked to wait. The name of the traveler will be called when their application has been reviewed.
Once it is implemented in June 2019, the Laos electronic visa will eliminate the need for this complicated application process upon arrival. Applicants will be able to complete a simple form with personal and passport information and receive a copy of the eVisa via email. They will then be able to print a copy to present at the border for an expedited entry into the country.
Main border Checkpoints in Laos for visa on arrival
There are 22 ports of entry where foreign visitors from eligible countries will be able to obtain a visa on arrival to enter Laos. These are the main border checkpoints in Laos:
- Wattay International Airport in Vientiane Capital;
- Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang Province;
- Pakse International Airport in Champasak Province;
- Savannakhet International Airport in Savannakhet Province.
These are the land border checkpoints where it is possible to get a visa on arrival for Laos:
- Chiang Khong – Houixay, Chiang Rai to Bokeo Province;
- Nakaxeng – Kaenthao, Loei to Sayabouly Province;
- Houi Koln – Nam Ngeun, Nan to Sayabouly Province;
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I, Nongkhai-Vientiane Capital;
- Tha Naleng train station in Vientiane;
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II, Moukdahan-Savannakhet Province;
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge III, Nakorn Phanom-Khammouane Province;
- Chongmek – Vangtao, Ubol Ratchathani to Champasack Province.
- Dong Calor – Veun Kham, Cambodia to Champasack Province.
- Nameo – Banleui, Thanh Hoa to Huaphanh Province;
- Namkan – Namkan, Nge An to Xieng Khouang Province;
- Keoneua – Nampao (Lak Sao), Ha tinh to Bolikhamxay Province;
- Laobao – Dansavanh, Quang tri to Savannakhet Province.
- Mohan – Botene, Yunnan to Luang Namtha Province.