Laos, officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, is a country in Southeast Asia with the capital and largest city being Vientiane. Laos is the only landlocked country in the Indochinese peninsula and is surrounded by Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
Over the last couple of decades, the country has attracted an increasing number of tourists that are looking to visit its varied landscapes and get to know its unique heritage. For this reason, the Lao Government has introduced a new type of visa for tourists, the Laos Approval Letter, that can be obtained entirely online.
This eVisa is now available for citizens of over 150 countries from North and South America to Australia and European union members. These citizens can now choose between applying online for an eVisa prior to departure or obtaining a visa on arrival. It is however recommended to apply for the online visa before traveling to Laos to avoid long queues and inconveniences upon arrival.
Travelers should bear in mind that the eVisa is type of tourist visa. For citizens planning on conducting business or investments in Laos, there are several types of business visas available, that need to be requested in person at an embassy or a consulate.
Laos eVisa for Thai Citizens
Thai citizens have the benefit of being allowed to enter neighboring Laos without a visa for up to 30 days. After the 30 days, they will need to exit the country and then they may return.
However, by applying for an eVisa, Thai citizens have the possibility of extending their visa without the need for exiting the country. They will need to do so at one of the Immigration offices in Laos.
The eVisa, also called Laos Approval Letter, is an electronic travel document introduced in July 2019 for more than 150 countries globally. This entirely online application allows for a faster immigration process for visitors looking to travel to Laos for tourism purposes.
Laos Online Visa Application from Thailand
The Laos online visa application can be completed in just a few minutes from anywhere in the world as long as there is a stable internet connection.
Applicants will be required to provide the following information:
- Personal details: full name, country of citizenship, date of birth, gender and address
- Passport details: number, country of issue, date of issue and expiry
- Passport-size color photo
- Credit or debit card for the online payment
Finally, applicants will need to provide a valid email address where they will receive a confirmation email after they submit the application. They will be provided with a link to check the status of the application and provide additional documents if necessary.
How Long is the Laos eVisa for Thai Citizens Valid for?
The Laos eVisa has the same 60 days validity for Thai citizens and all other eligible citizens. However, the visa allows travelers to stay In Laos for up to 30 days. After this period, an extension can be requested by visiting an Immigration office.
The cost of the extension of the visa can vary. If travelers request the extension before the visa expires, the extension will only cost 2$ per day. If travelers have already overstayed, they will need to pay 10$ for each day of the extension. It is therefore recommended to request an extension within 30 days from the date of entry in the country.
Specifications of the Laos eVisa for Citizens of Thailand
These are some important things to know about the Laos eVisa for citizens of Thailand:
- The Laos eVisa is for tourism purposes. Travelers who plan on conducting business will need to request a business visa at a Laos embassy or consulate
- The eVisa has a validity of 60 days and allows a single entry into the country for up to 30 days. For longer periods, an extension can be requested for a fee
- Travelers must have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Laos
- The online application should be submitted at least 7 days prior to departure
- Travelers should ensure the accuracy of the information provided in the online application
- Additional documents might be required and can be provided even after submitting the online application
Traveling from Thailand to Laos
When traveling without an eVisa, Thai citizens can enter Laos through any of the available entry ports.
The eVisa however, allows travelers to enter Laos only through five entry ports:
- Wattay International Airport (Vientiane Capital)
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I (Vientiane Capital)
- Luang Prabang International Airport (Luang Prabang Province)
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II (Savanakhet Province)
- Pakse International Airport (Champasack Province)
Upon arrival in Laos, Thai citizens traveling with an eVisa will need to present:
- Their passport valid for at least 6 months
- A printed copy of the eVisa