A visa for Laos is needed for all nationalities except for passport-holders from Japan, China, and some European countries like Switzerland. According to an agreement reached with the Laos government, only citizens from ASEAN are given free entrance to Laos for 15 days.
Generally, most foreign visitors from countries such as Canada and Britain are eligible for a visa on arrival to travel to Laos. In contrast, passport holders from most African countries can only obtain a visa to Laos through embassies in their respective countries.
To save time, many travelers will be able to apply for an electronic travel authorization to visit Laos from summer 2019, allowing tourists to apply for the Laos eVisa through an easy-to-use online platform.
Visas obtained from embassies take longer to be finalized and are subject to a letter of approval by the Laos Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Another difficulty arises when visitors from countries with no embassy have to travel to neighboring countries to obtain a visa. For instance, Canadians must obtain their Laos visa from Canada in the US (Washington DC) while citizens from the UK must do so in Paris.
Laos eVisa For Canadian Citizens
The Laos government is planning on launching an eVisa for citizens from certain eligible countries. Once the Laos eVisa is implemented, it will reduce the hassle faced by foreigners when trying to obtain a visa from embassies or through the on-arrival process.
This online Laos visa method is likely to be the easiest way to obtain a visa before visiting Laos. All it takes to get a visa online is to complete an application form with the relevant information and provide any necessary supporting documentation digitally.
The Laos eVisa will grant citizens from Canada and other eligible countries a maximum stay of 30 consecutive days.
Laos eVisa Application Form from Canada
The eVisa application form for Canadians to gain access to Laos will be simple and straightforward to complete and will only take a few minutes from the comfort of the traveler’s home.
Canadian citizens will need to access the online application form where they will be required to provide data about their travel documents as well as personal information including names, date of birth, nationality, etc.
There is a Laos eVisa fee which should be paid via credit or debit card through the online platform in order to submit the completed application form.
Travelers will also need to provide a valid email address where the approval email will be sent once the application has been screened by the appropriate authorities.
If travelers fail to print the approved eVisa before going to Laos, they can still apply through the visa-on-arrival process, although this is likely to take more time.
Laos Visa Requirements from Canada
To obtain a Laos visa for Canadian citizens, travelers must present the following documents in their application:
- 2 passport-sized photographs
- etter of itinerary (optional)
- Visa fee
- Passport signed and authorized by the Canadian government. The passport should come with two blank pages where the Laos visa will be attached
Travel to Laos from Canada
The cheapest and easiest method of getting to Laos is via plane. Travelers can book a flight directly from Toronto to the capital of Laos: Vientiane, or from Calgary to Luang Prabang. The flight takes approximately 20 hours to get to Laos from Canada.