Updated: on 31 December 2023

Every year we help an increasing number of travelers from around the globe book southeast Asian holiday itineraries that include trips to Laos, and as one of the least understood destinations, compared to say Thailand and Vietnam, we are often asked about entry requirements for Laos and how to go about acquiring a Laos tourist visa. The Lao People’s Democratic Republic remains one of the least perceptively accessible countries in the region because of its mostly mountainous terrain yet it remains a magnet for travelers crossing into the country from neighboring Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Myanmar who are drawn to its ancient culture and natural beauty and no doubt because it remains so tantalizingly off the typical tourist trail. Laos is open for tourism all year round and most international visitors are welcome to apply for an Electronic Tourist Visa or eVisa for Tourism prior to travel or request a Laos tourist visa on arrival. If you fulfill the usual basic requirements, such as a valid passport and verifiable travel documents, obtaining a Laos tourist visa is very straight forward and simple. However, as we are constantly monitoring the situation it is worth checking here or on another trusted travel/government site for any changes before you decide to travel to Laos.

There are various types of visas available with some nationalities eligible to apply for a Tourist eVisa before travelling, others can apply for a Visa on Arrival when they land at an airport or cross the border by land, and others will need assistance from a Consulate or Embassy of Laos before attempting to visit. The type and validity of the visa will depend on your nationality, how long you wish to stay, and the purpose of your visit.

Lao Visa on Arrival Requirements – Visa on Arrival (VOA)

If you meet the Lao visa on arrival requirements it is likely you will be permitted to stay within Lao PDR for a period of 30 days (although it is possible to extend your visa twice for a maximum total of 90 days while in the country at a cost of around USD 3 per day). Getting a visa for Laos at any checkpoints (airport or border) will require some patience, and an undamaged passport that is valid for at least 6 months from your date of arrival with at least 2 blank pages for visa stamps. When you arrive, head for the window marked Visa on Arrival and not the Immigration window as this is for those who already hold a valid visa. Your passport should have at least two fully blank pages in it (preferably far more if you are intending to travel around SE Asia as the Laos tourist visa will completely cover one page – this is why it is sometimes referred to as a Sticker Visa, and another will be needed for entry and exit stamps). A correctly completed Laos visa application form is required for your Laos tourist visa on arrival which you can download and print online or will be issued to you on the flight or at the border or airport. Two recent passport-size photos (50mm x 50mm on a white background – if you do not have these, don’t panic as they will for a fee take a copy of your photo from your passport), proof of accommodation in Laos PDR such as a hotel reservation, a valid return trip or onward trip ticket out of the country and cash in US dollars to pay for the visa which costs between USD 30 and USD 45 depending on your nationality. You may also be asked to prove that you have the funds to support yourself for the duration of your stay as part of the Laos tourist visa requirements. Proof of travel and health insurance is not yet a prerequisite to enter Laos, although entering the country without it is highly unadvisable. Once your application has been accepted it should take around 15 mins for your application to be processed and your name to be called - but expect longer delays at busy times.

Lao Visa Entry Requirements – Visa on Arrival (VOA) Checklist:
  • A passport valid for at least 6 months from your entry date to Laos with at least two blank pages for visa stamps.
  • A completed Laos tourist visa application form.
  • Two passport photos (50mm x 50mm) taken within the last 6 months on a white background.
  • Proof of accommodation for the duration of your stay in Laos.
  • Valid onward travel documents.
  • Payment of visa fees (See below).


CountryPrice (US Dollar)
Australia
Canada
China
India
Sweden
USA
UK
Others
30
42
20
40
31
35
35
30


Note – An additional USD1 over-time fee may be charged when getting a visa for Laos if you are applying before 8am and after 4pm on weekdays, at weekends, or on Laos public holidays. If you are crossing from Thailand into Laos, you may be able to pay your Laos tourist visa on arrival fee in Thai Baht. However, the exchange rate means that the cost of doing this is likely to be higher than if you pay in US dollars.

A Laos tourist visa is available at the following checkpoints:
  • Vientiane Wattay International Airport
  • Savan International Airport
  • Pakse International Airport
  • Luang Prabang International Airport
  • Friendship Bridge IV Checkpoint in Bokeo (Thailand Border)
  • Samliemkham Checkpoint in Bokeo (Thailand and Myanmar Border)
  • Friendship Bridge I Checkpoint in Vientiane (Thailand Border)
  • Tanalaeng Checkpoint in Vientiane (Thailand Border)
  • Friendship Bridge III Checkpoint in Khammouane (Thailand Border)
  • Friendship Bridge II Checkpoint in Savannakhet (Thailand Border)
  • Daensavan Checkpoint in Savannakhet (Vietnam Border)
  • Vang Tao Checkpoint in Champasak (Thailand Border)
  • Boten Checkpoint in Luang Namtha (China Border)


Citizens from the following countries are eligible for an e-VOA:

Albania
Andorra
Angola
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei Darussalam
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
o Cambodia
Canada
rkey Cape Verde
n Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Comoros
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
DPR Korea
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominca
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Fiji
Finland
France
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
Guyana
Haiti
Hong Kong
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macau
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Micronesia
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
Myanmar
Namibia
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Norway
Oman
Palau
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Republic of Korea
Romania
Russia Federation
Rwanda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent & Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
Sao Tome & Principe
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Seychelles
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Thailand
Timor Leste
Togo
Trinidad & Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Tuvalu
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirate
United Kingdom
United Republic of Tanzania
United States of America
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yemen


Citizens from the following countries are eligible for an e-VOA:

Afghanistan
Algeria
Bangladesh
Burundi
Cameroon
Congo
Cote d’Ivoire
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea Bissau
Jordan
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Mozambique
Nauru
Niger
Nigeria
Pakistan
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Suriname
Syria
Swaziland
Tonga
Turkey
Zambia
Zimbabwe


Although a visa is required by most people entering Laos PDR, citizens from the following countries are exempt from the country’s visa requirements (visa free travel):
  • Brunei (for 14 days)
  • Cambodia (for 30 days)
  • Indonesia (for 30 days)
  • Japan (for 15 days)
  • Luxembourg (for 15 days)
  • Malaysia (for 30 days)
  • Mongolia (for 30 days)
  • Myanmar (for 14 days)
  • Philippines (for 30 days)
  • Russia (for 30 days)
  • Singapore (for 30 days)
  • South Korea (for 30 days)
  • Switzerland (for 15 days)
  • Thailand (for 30 days)
  • Vietnam (for 30 days)


Laos Tourist Visa Requirements for those applying for an e-Visa

Obtaining a Laos e-Visa is a way of saving time on arrival by not having to apply for your Laos tourist visa on arrival as it can be done before your arrival in Laos PDR. The process is quick and easy but be careful to ensure you apply from the official Laos government website on https://laoevisa.gov.la/apply.

Here you will be required to complete the electronic visa application form and submit the required documents including a copy of your passport’s cover page, bio-data page, and a recent photograph of yourself. Laos entry requirements for the eVisa application demand that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months following the date you arrive in the country and the photograph needs to have been taken within the last 6 months and taken on a white background with no shadows, no headgear or glasses. Laos tourist visa requirements mean you need to be facing the camera with your eyes open and a neutral expression and your head occupying at least 80% of the frame. Visa fees can be paid through the site after your documents have been submitted and accepted using a valid credit or debit card. The fee is nonrefundable, and your fee can be calculated using the e-Visa fee calculator: https://laoevisa.gov.la/fee-calculator.

It usually takes a minimum of 3 working days for your visa to be processed and a Visa Approval Letter sent to your email. This Laos eVisa Approval Letter will need to be shown to the immigration officer when you arrive to enter Laos. Your Laos e-Visa is valid for entry to Laos for up to 60 days after receipt of the Approval Letter so be sure to not book your eVisa to far in advance of your planned arrival in Laos.

The Secret Retreats team understand that Laos visa on arrival requirements can appear complicated, and that is why we are here to help with any questions or queries you might have. Please feel free to contact us at dream@secret-retreats.com and allow us to make your journey to this incredible Southeast Asian nation a trouble-free adventure of a lifetime.

Check out our boutique hotels, villas, and lodges in Laos, and our ready-made travel itineraries and cruises in Laos. Our Laos travel experts can also custom design and tailor travel plans to suit your needs.
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