Similar to many European countries, travelers from the United States also need to obtain a visa to be allowed entrance into Laos. The visa to Laos from America can be obtained online, from embassies or on arrival at several points of entry into Laos.
For visitors traveling via flight, the Laos visa is obtained from the international airport in Vientiane, Luang Patang, and Pakse, as well as other border crossing points. So far, Laos has 7 international airports and 14 major crossings, all of which allow visitors to obtain their visas.
In order to improve arrival and border crossing procedures in Laos, the Department of Immigration now offers an easy-to-obtain eVisa for Laos in addition to the habitual visa on arrival.
Do U.S. Citizens Need a Visa to Travel to Laos?
For U.S. nationals, a Laos visa for American citizens can be acquired online where travelers can specify whether they need a tourist or business visa.
For American tourists traveling to Laos, there is the possibility of applying online for the Laos tourist visa, also known as the eVisa Approval Letter which allows US citizens entry into Laos for a total of 30 days. This time can be extended if the applicant contacts the relevant authorities.
The online visa for tourists in Laos (Laos eVisa) should be applied for with sufficient time in advance to make sure that the applicant has the necessary documents to enter the country upon arrival.
For business travelers who want a Laos visa for Americans, a Lao business visa should be obtained rather than a tourist visa. The business visa usually takes longer to process. Individuals are advised to commence the process three months before the intended date of travel. This is because it might take longer for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to give their approval. Normally, it takes a period of one month for the business visa to be processed through the embassy but can be longer if any complications are encountered.
Just as the tourist visa is extendable, a business visa is also extendable for an additional 60 days.
To get a Laos visa for Americans, all travelers must ensure the visa requirements are met.
Laos eVisa Requirements for Americans
Similar to various other Southeast Asian countries, the Laos Government has implemented a Laos eVisa which means that citizens from the U.S. can apply for a visa for Laos from the comfort of their homes. To do so, applicants must send the following documents in order to complete and submit the Laos eVisa application form. They include:
- Laos visa application form: this can be downloaded online
- Original signed United States of America passport with a minimum of 6 months’ validity
- 1 passport-sized photograph, no more than 3 months old and with a white background
Applying online saves applicants the stress of going down to embassies or queuing to get the visa on arrival in Laos. The passport should come with two blank pages, allowing enough room for the stamp.
It takes less than a month for the visa online process to be finalized. If all requirements are meant, it could take as little as 10 working days but travelers should ensure they apply a month before their intended date of departure.
Laos eVisa Application Process from the U.S.
The Laos visa from America can be gotten in advance before the departure date. This means travelers will have to do so either by applying online or via embassies.
The visa online method is less stressful as applicants are not required to visit any embassies or consulates. Unlike applying to embassies, the visa online method helps you process your visa by simply sending all necessary documents and making payments online.
Once processed, the eVisa will be sent to the email address given during the order process. For all eligible travelers, the Laos eVisa for Americans is by far the easiest method to obtain the relevant travel authorization to visit Laos.
Laos Online Visa Benefits for Americans
Applying for the Laos visa online is more advantageous than applying for a visa upon arrival or applying at an embassy beforehand. With the online visa for Laos, travelers can receive an approved visa in advance and apply using a mobile device or desktop computer.
The online application form for the Laos visa takes less time to complete and less time to process as well, making the online application system a smoother process for Laos visa applicants.
Applicants should remember to check the visa requirements prior to applying to ensure that they are able to apply successfully.