Laos Visa on Arrival

Visa on Arrival

Issued at Lao ports of entry valid for 30 days

The most convenient way to get a Lao visa especially for those who are tight on time, resources, energy and Lao embassies/consulates are too far to reach.

A Visa on Arrival is usually a tourist visa (good for 30 days stay). 

Some times business and other type of visas can be picked up on arrival as well provided that you have arranged everything ahead of time and you have letter of approval (or an entry visa number) from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos.

A sign - Visa on arrival

  • Where can I get Lao visa on arrival?
  • Who CAN get a Lao visa on arrival?
  • Who CANNOT get a Lao visa on arrival?
  • What are the requirements?
  • Lao visa exemption, am I eligible?
  • What is the fee of Lao visa on arrival?
  • What are the procedures?

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Where can I get a Lao visa on arrival?

The Lao visas on arrival are available at:

  • Lao international airports in Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse and Savannakhet,
  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridges in Vientiane, Thakaek, and Savannakhet, and
  • Tha Naleng train station in Vientiane, and
  • International land border crossing points. View a complete list of Lao border check points that issue Visa on Arrival.

If you intend to enter Laos as a tourist, this is the most convenient way to get your Lao visa. Just make sure you have a valid passport and plan to arrive at one of the Lao international ports of entry where visas on arrival are issued. Check out visa procedures ».

Who CAN get Laos Visas on Arrival?

Everyone except for citizens of the countries listed under "Who CANNOT get Lao Visa on Arrival?" below.

Who CANNOT get Laos Visas on Arrival?

Effective from 15 October, 2009, travelers holding passports from the following countries are not eligible for Laos Visas on Arrival.

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Algeria
  3. Bangladesh
  4. Burundi
  5. Cameroon
  6. Congo
  7. Cote d’Ivoire
  8. Ghana
  9. Guinea
  10.  Guinea Bissau
  11. Jordan
  12. Lesotho
  13. Liberia
  14. Libya ( Libyan Arab Jamahiriya )
  15. Mozambique
  16. Nauru
  17. Niger
  18. Nigeria
  19. Pakistan
  20. Senegal
  21. Sierra Leone
  22. Sri Lanka
  23. Suriname
  24. Syria ( Syrian Arab republic)
  25. Swaziland
  26. Tonga
  27. Turkey
  28. Zambia
  29. Zimbabwe

Information checked in January 2015, so far no change has been made to the list by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR.

Lao visa stampted on a passport

According to notice No. 1232 issued on 1 October 2009, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR, nationals on the list above must obtain their visas at Lao Embassies or Lao Consulates abroad before entering Laos.

However, there is an exception for those nationals who are on official visits and holding a guarantee letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos.


(application for a tourist visa on arrival)

  1. Your original passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity and a blank page for a visa stamp
  2. A Visa application form, filled and signed by the applicant (available at visa booth at Lao ports of entry or download it here (in the box).
  3. Two(2) recent passport-type photographs.
  4. Visa fee (cash)

Note: If you don't have photos you will be asked to pay a small fee (few dollars) for scanning your photograph from your passport, and placing it onto your visa application form.

Lao Visa Exemption

Lao visas are not required for citizens of many countries. Visit Visa Exemption page to see if you are eligible

Visa on Arrival Fee

Below is a list of visa fee for different countries. If your country is not on the list, it probably costs you $US30 to get the visa or you're not eligible for getting Laos visa on arrival. Click here to check if you are in the "NOT eligible" list.

Country      Price (US Dollar)

Australia     30

Canada       42

China          20

India  40

Sweden       31

USA  35

UK    35

Others         30

Although Thai Baht is also accepted I'd recommend paying your visa fee in US dollars unless you really run out of them. If you chose to pay in Thai Baht it will cost you around 1,500 Baht which is roughly US$46 (I don't know how they come to this figure).

One thing to remember when in Laos is, if you want to save, it is better to pay in the currency quoted whether it is US dollars, Lao Kip or Thai Baht to avoid converting from one currency to another. You might want to apply this strategy when paying your hotels, restaurant and shopping bills especially if it is a large sum of money.

Note: On weekends, Lao public holidays and from 6 - 8am and after 4pm weekdays, there is a $1 over time fee, in addition an entry fee (2,500 Kip or so) may be charged.


In most ports of entry including the Lao international border crossing points and Lao International Airports (Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse and Savannakhet) the Visa on Arrival window is located at the arrival channel (before the immigration window).

Line up at the visa window (don't waste your time lining up at the immigration window if you don't have the visa yet), get the visa application form at the window and fill it out (if you arrive by plane, the form should be given to you before landing). Then hand it in together with your passport, 2 photographs and the Visa fee to the officer, and wait to be called.

The visa processing time varies between ports of entry. At major airports or at Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge in Vientiane it takes around 10-15 minutes. Delays are possible in late afternoons, weekends and public holidays at both Visa window and immigration windows at the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridges.

Step to get Visa on arrival at Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge 1

It's pretty easy to get the Lao visa on arrival at the Friendship bridge.

Laos Visa on arrival booth at Lao-Thai Friendshio Bridge, Vientiane

If you arrive by bus, the visa booth is just a few foot steps from where the bus drops you off. It is the first booth before the immigration windows.

If you arrive by private car, the visa on arrival booth is on your left as all private cars are directed to the right arriving channels.

Windows are numbered so just go in sequential order 1-2-3.

Step 1: Get Visa application form at window 1, and fill it out.

Step 2: Return the completed form with 1 or 2 passport type photos and visa fee, plus over time if you arrive out side working hours, on weekend or Lao public holidays, to the official at window #1 or window #2 if it is active, and wait to be called.

Remember, the visa fee is best paid in US dollars. Paying in Thai Baht is more expensive.

No photos? No problems, see note above.

Laos visa on arrival window 3 at Lao-Thai Friendship bridge, Vientiane

Step 3: When you're called, collect your passport with the visa, at window #3 around the corner.

Usually you will get immigration stamp on your passport already when you get the visa, so.... no need to stand in line again at the immigration windows. However, it is a good practice to always check to make sure everything is in order before leaving.

Note: Tourist Visa holders are prohibited from obtaining employment in Laos.