Laos visa

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General information about the visa regime of Laos

Russian citizens from 2017 to visit Laos for up to 30 days visa is not required (previously the period was 15 days). Citizens of other CIS countries, as well as Russians for a stay of more than 30 days, are required to apply for a visa in advance at the embassy or obtain a visa on arrival. After entry on a visa, already in Laos, the period of stay on it can be extended.

Theoretically, entry to Laos requires sufficient funds for the duration of your stay, as well as a return ticket or a ticket to a third country. If the first rule is almost not checked, then having a return ticket or a ticket to a third country does not hurt at all. Especially often this rule is asked on arrival at the airport. If you have a return ticket from a neighboring country (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia) and you plan to get there by land, you can present it and explain your route. Almost always this helps, although, again, theoretically, you should provide in such a case a ticket for the train, bus, etc.

There is also a requirement for the validity of the passport: your passport must be valid for at least another 6 months from the date of entry.

Attention! When entering Laos, carefully make sure that the border guards put a stamp in the passport, as there were times when they forgot to do this. In this case, when leaving, you will have to pay a fine for illegal stay in the country.

Stamps of Laos in the passport

Procedure for crossing the border with Laos

Even if you do not need a visa to Laos, you will still have to pay some fees at the border. The order of payment may vary depending on the place of intersection, but in general these are small amounts, within a few dollars. Fees will include a fee for checking documents, affixing stamps, a fee for crossing the border on weekends and at the end of working hours, may even charge a fee for checking the temperature (so-called sanitary control).

Fees can be paid in Lao currency, US dollars, or in the currency of the country from where you enter by land (Thai baht or Vietnamese Dong). In our experience, it is more profitable to pay immediately in dollars or the currency of the country from where you enter. If you decide to buy Lao bales, then this can be done without problems at any border crossing, but the course there is extremely not very profitable, so it is better to change at a minimum, only for the very first time. For example, in one day the exchange rate at the border crossing from Vietnam to Laos was 7700 Kip da US dollar, while in City banks it was around 8500.

For reference, here are the tolls at the land border crossing in November 2018:

  • Service fee for processing documents-16 000 kip or $ 2
  • Fee for the stamp in the passport-10 000 Kip
  • Additional fee for work on weekends or after 16:00 hours on weekdays – 10 000 Kip
  • Sanitary control-5000 Kip

Also, when leaving Laos, a processing fee of 10,000 kip or $ 1 is charged, but only on weekends or during non-working hours before 08:00 and after 16:00.

Land border crossings operate only during the day, each according to its own schedule on average from 07:00 to 18:00, but the busiest ones work late. The most popular land crossing on the border with Thailand Nong Khai - Vientiane is open from 06:00 to 22:00.

Land border crossing to Laos

Visa-free entry for Russian citizens

Citizens of the Russian Federation do not need a visa to stay in Laos for up to 30 days, only a stamp in the passport is put at border control. You can get it at border control at the airport, as well as at any ground crossing.

For visa-free entry to Laos, you need a passport valid for at least 6 months, as well as return tickets or tickets to a third country (a printout of an electronic ticket is quite suitable). The last rule is rarely checked. There are no requirements for the tourist to have a booked hotel and insurance at the entrance.

To extend the stamp for a 30-day stay, you can leave the country for any neighboring country, and immediately return and get a new stamp for 30 days.

Visa on arrival

Visa on arrival can be issued at the airports of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse; at land border crossings from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and China. It gives the right to stay for up to 30 days and can be extended in Laos twice. However, it should be noted that a visa on arrival can not be issued at all, but only at certain border crossings.

The cost of a visa on arrival is from 30 US dollars (paid in dollars).

For its registration you need to provide:

  • passport (valid for at least 6 months)
  • 2 Completed application forms (issued on site)
  • 2 photos, black and white or color, 4x6 CM

If you do not have a photo, then you will be photographed or scanned a photo from your passport for $ 1.

Border crossings where visa processing on arrival is possible*:

  • On the border with Thailand

    • Nong Khai-Vientiane-border crossing "Friendship Bridge No. 1" (Thai-Lao Freindship Bridge No. 1)
    • Mukdaharn-Savannakhet-border crossing "Friendship Bridge No. 2" (Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge No. 2)
    • Chiang Khong-Houy Xai-border crossing from Chiang Rai province
    • Nakaxeng–Kaenthao
    • Nakon Phanom–Thakhaek
    • Chong Mek–Vangtao
  • On the border with Vietnam

    • Tay Trang– Sobboun-border crossing from Dien Bienfu, route from Sapa
    • Lao Bao–Dansavanh-route from Da Nang, Hue, Vinh
    • Nameo–Banteui
    • Keoneua–Namphao
    • Bo Y–Phukeua
  • On the border with Cambodia

    • Stung Treng-Veung Kham and Pakse
  • On the border with China

    • Mohan–Boten

* - information is given for information. Check the information about the required border crossing before traveling.

Applying for a visa to Laos at the embassy

Where to apply for a visa to Laos?

It is possible to issue a visa to Laos in advance in the consular departments at the embassy of any country, but as of 2016, this cannot be done at the embassy in Moscow, since obtaining a visa is not relevant for Russian citizens. Therefore, a visa to Laos in advance, if necessary, can be made at the embassies of neighboring countries with Laos: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China. In addition, a visa to Laos can be issued at the embassy in Laos itself.

The visa processing period is 2-3 working days, but for a surcharge of 5-10 dollars there is an urgent registration within an hour.

The cost of a visa to Laos

For visa processing at the consulate, a fee of 20 US dollars is charged (depending on the country of registration). In Kuala Lumpur, for example, a visa will cost $ 63; in Bangkok, $ 45.

Validity and duration of stay on a visa in Laos

On a tourist or business visa in Laos, you can stay 30 days after entry. The period of validity of the visa after its issuance (i.e. the period during which it can be used to enter the country if the visa is obtained in advance) is three months.

Required documents

To apply for a visa to Laos, you must present a minimum set of documents:

  • passport (valid for at least 6 months)
  • 2 Completed application forms
  • 2 photos, black and white or color, 4x6 CM

Also, do not forget to check whether you have unpaid fines and other debts, otherwise you may not be released at the border from the Russian Federation.

Extension of visa to Laos

The visa can be extended while already in Laos twice for 30 days (15 days each). To do this, contact the Immigration Department in Vientiane. The extension costs $ 30.

Embassy of Laos in Moscow

  • Address: 18 Malaya Nikitskaya Street, Moscow, 121069
  • Consular Department (visa issues): 18 Malaya Nikitskaya Street, Moscow
  • Tel: (495) 203-01-58.

Russian Embassy in Laos

  • Address: Sisattanak Distr., Thaphalanxay quarter, km 4, Thadeua str., Vientiane, P.O. Box 490, Vientiane, Laos.
  • Tel: (856) 21-31-2219, (856) 21-31-2222, fax: (856) 21-31-2210
  • Site:

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