Home Laos Travel GuideLaos Visa and How to Apply for

Laos Visa and How to Apply for

People of most nationalities require a visa to enter Laos.

Loss of your visa/passport could result in a fine and curtailment of your travel plans. Asia Highlights recommends that our customers keep a photocopy of their passport and visa somewhere separate and/or keep electronic versions on an accessible device.

Visa Exemptions

Passport holders from the following countries do not require a visa to visit Laos for the following periods:

  • Cambodia/Thailand/Vietnam/Malaysia/Singapore/Philippines/Indonesia/Mongolia (up to 30 days)
  • Japan/Luxembourg/Switzerland/Russia/South Korea (up to 15 days)
  • Brunei/Myanmar (up to 14 days)

Visa Extensions

Tourist visas can be extended before the expiry date at the cost of $2 per day , in the immigration offices in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. The extension process is straightforward: complete an application form, submit your passport and pay the fees. Usually your extension can be picked up the same day if you submit your application in the morning.

If you want to stay for more than a few days and are near the border anyway, you could cross the border then return to Laos with a new 30-day visa.

Most travel agencies provide a visa extension service with some processing fees. This option is better for those who hold non-tourist visas, since these are more complicated to extend and involve more paperwork.

Overstay Penalties

Overstaying a visa in Laos costs $10 per day; if you overstay, you will be fined accordingly at the immigration checkpoint on departure.

Types of Laos Visa

Types of visa:Tourist (T) visa / Business (B2) visa / Courtesy(B1) visa / Visit (B3) visa / Diplomatic (A1) visa / Official (A2) visa / Transit (Tr.) visa

Laos Tourist Visa

  • For traveling purposes
  • Processing fee ranges from $30 to $42 depending on the origin of the passport, the office where you apply, and the currency you use to pay
  • Valid for single entry within two months of the date of issue
  • Valid for up to 30 days from the date of entry
  • Can be extended for up to 60 days at the cost of $2 per day
  • Visa extensions are available from the immigration offices in Vientiane and Luang Prabang

Two Ways to Get a Laos Visa

A visa can be obtained on arrival at the international airports and most international border crossings, or via a Laos embassy or consulate.

Visa on Arrival

A Laos visa is available to citizens of most nationalities on arrival. You can obtain your visa, usually a tourist visa but sometimes a different type of visa, upon arrival at the following international airports, bridges and border crossings, as detailed below:


  • Vientiane Wattay International Airport
  • Luang Prabang International Airport
  • Pakse International Airport


  • Friendship Bridge, Thailand (Nong Khai) - Vientiane Capital
  • Friendship Bridge II, Thailand (Moukdahan) - Savannakhet Province
  • Nam Heuang Friendship Bridge, Thailand - Xayabouly Province

Border crossings

  • Thailand (Chiang Khong) - Bokeo Province (Houay Xay)
  • Thailand (Nakhon Phanom) - Khammouane Province (Thakhaek)
  • Thailand (Chong Mek) - Champasak Province (Vang Tao)
  • Vietnam (Nam Kanh) - Xieng Khouang Province (Nong Haet)
  • Vietnam (Kao Cheo) - Bolikhamxay (Nam Phao)
  • Vietnam (Lao Bao) - Savannakhet Province (Dene Savanh)

The tourist visa processing time depends to some extent on the port of entry. It takes around 15 minutes at the major airports and the Friendship Bridge, and might be a bit longer at the border crossings. To save time, line up at the visa window and prepare the following papers in advance:

  • One completed visa application form (the form is available at the window)
  • Original passport with at least 6 months’ validity
  • Two recent, passport-sized photographs
  • Visa fee (best paid in US dollars)
  • Supporting documents e.g. sponsors’ letters or certificates (when applying non-tourist visas)

Anyone without passport-sized photographs will be charged a few dollars as the administration fee to have some photos taken.

A visa on arrival is NOT permitted for holders of passports from the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Jordan, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tonga, Turkey, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

 Laos Embassy or Consulate

Visas can be obtained in advance from a Laos embassy or consulate. The visa fees and processing time vary according to nationality of applicant and issuing office. If you need detailed information please contact the relevant office directly.

Each applicant must complete a visa application form and submit it to the embassy or consulate together with:

  • Two recent, passport-sized photographs
  • An original passport with at least 6 months’ validity
  • Visa fee
  • Supporting documents (when applying non-tourist visas)
  • Prepaid and preaddressed envelope for return of passport, if applying by mail

Visit Laos with Asia Highlights

Asia Highlights is committed to responsible travel. We cooperate with local guides to let our clients have a genuine and unique experience in the location of their choice. We know how precious your time is, so we are here to answer all your questions and to help your travel dreams become a reality.

Take a look at our tours below, during which we show you as many hidden-gems as we can, while giving you a personalized travel experience.

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