There are different types of visas for Laos which allow visitors to enter the country. The type of Laos visa someone needs depends on their reason for entering and which visa/s they are eligible to obtain. The way of obtaining each visa also varies.
Once it is available, the Laos Tourist Visa (Electronic visa for Laos) will be the most convenient option for eligible citizens who plan on spending 30 days or less in Laos. The online application will save travelers the hassle of going to an embassy or consulate or queuing at the border for a visa.
Here is a short guide which explains the differences between the different visa types of visitor visas for Laos. Travelers who wish to enter Laos but who are not eligible for the visitor visa they need should contact their nearest embassy or consulate of Laos.
Tourist eVisa for Laos
The tourist eVisa for Laos will launch in June. Although the final list of eligible countries has not been finalized, the list is expected to include most countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, and all European Union member states.
The online application will be straightforward and will only take a matter of minutes to complete. Applicants will just need to enter some basic information such as their name, address, date of birth, passport number and travel plans. Most applications will be quickly approved and the visa will then be sent to travelers by email.
Travelers will be able to enter Laos by presenting a copy of their tourist visa, along with their passport, at the Laos border. Travelers will need to use to the same passport to apply for the visa and to enter Laos.
Visa on Arrival for Laos
The visa on arrival for Laos is a single-entry visa which allows eligible travelers to spend up to 30 days in Laos. It is available to the vast majority of nationalities (there are only 29 nationalities who are not eligible).
To apply, eligible visitors can queue up and apply at the border on arrival. It is necessary to complete the application (which is handed out on the plane) and pay the visa fee in cash. Applicants also need to present their passport (with at least 6 months remaining), two recent passport photos (in color).
Once the Laos electronic visa has been launched, travelers will be able to save time at the border as they will be able to complete the application and obtain their eVisa in advance.
Business Visa for Laos
The Laos business visa is for foreign citizens who plan to work or invest in Laos. This includes shareholders, volunteers for non-governmental organizations, staff members of embassies or consulates and other international organizations.
There are different types of Laos business visas which are designed for different types of employment and projects. Some of the most typical types of work visas include:
- Expert Visa (E-B2) – allows foreign workers employed in international organizations or non-government organizations to enter and work in Laos.
- Investor Visa (NI-B2) – for foreign nationals who want to to invest in a business registered in Laos.
- Labor Visa (LA-B2) – for foreign citizens who plan to work in Laos on a fixed employment contract.