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All you want to know about VISA to Laos 2008



Laos Entry Visa-on-Arrival now valid for 30 days at all border crossing points and ports of entry.

Visas are needed for all except Japanese, Russian, Mongolian or ASEAN visitors to Laos. If you want to save time and convenience when arriving in countries which require visas, then it's better to get them before you leave home. You can apply to each country's Embassy (allow plenty of time)

Lao Visa Prices

The 30 day visa on arrival in the Lao PDR is available at all ports of entry in Laos including the three international airports of Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse. You should try to have one photo.

Visa cost ranges from $20 (China) to $42 (Canada). Sweden is $31, $35 for the USA, UK and most of Europe, $40 for India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and $30 for Australia and other countries. The full list is on display at the Visa Application window or click here to view. Japanese, Russian and Mongolian visitors to Laos no longer need a visa and ASEAN country passport holders should not have to pay for a 15 day entry stamp.

US dollars in smaller denominations can be used freely in much of Laos, so try to arrive with enough US$ notes for your visa. Thai currency (baht) can also be used in Lao, but paying for a visa with baht is expensive, due to the bad exchange rate at Lao Immigration.

If you apply before the expiry date, visas can be extended for about $1 per day in Vientiane. The Immigration office is opposite Bangkok Bank in a road off Lane Xang Avenue, on the other side to the Morning Market. On the corner is the Joint Development Bank (JDB) head office which has an ATM booth, currently for VISA cards only. Most other ATMs around the city accept MasterCard too. See Lao Banking for more.


24 hours ATM in Vientiane

You can also obtain your Lao Visa in the USA in advance from Passport Visa Express, or from a Lao Embassy in your country. If you prefer to have all your visas in your passport before you arrive in the countries that require them, then visit the PassportVisasExpress.com website where you can also apply for a US Passport if you don't have one yet.

Note that many travellers entering Thailand from the Lao PDR or other country will not need a Thai visa.

Visa procedure at the Thai Lao Friendship Bridge, Nongkhai
Opening times are from 6 am to 10 pm. Unless you are unlucky and arrive just after a large tour group, the wait for your visa is usually 10 to 15 minutes.

TMB now has permanent 24 hour Thai baht ATMs just before Thai Immigration, for VISA, MasterCard etc. The next are on the Lao side several Km from the Bridge, outside three factories; these also accept VISA and Cirrus cards, but dispense kip, usable only within the Lao PDR.

* Visa on arrival facilities now exist at 14 land border crossings and river ports of entry to the Lao PDR from Thailand, China and Vietnam including Mittaphap (Friendship) Bridge & Nongkhai, Houayxay & Xiengkhong, Thakhek & Nakhonphanom, Savannakhet & Mukdahan, Vangtao & Xongmek, Namphao & Cautreo, Densavanh & Laobao, Naphao & Chalo, Boten & Bohane, Namkane & Namekane, Namsoue & Nameo and Paksane & Beungkane. We cannot confirm the Cambodia/Lao crossing points issue visas.

If you already have a visa for the Lao PDR in your passport, you only need to fill in an Arrival/Departure form (similar to the Thailand one) available in the arrivals area or from the Visa on Arrival window. Just ask for the form. Fill in both sections, using any guesthouse or hotel name (Lao Plaza, Novotel, Mekong) as your address – no one cares. Present the completed form with your passport at a Foreign Passports booth and you will be 'stamped in'. Make sure you get 30 days entry and not just 15 as previously.

If you don't yet have your Lao visa, DO NOT proceed to the Foreign Passports Arrivals Booth until you have applied for and received your visa. Ask for the two forms you need at the left hand Visa-on-arrival window. First, fill in the simple Visa Application form and hand it back together with your passport, one photo and the fee (there is a list of countries and fees ranging from $30 to $42 – see above) in US dollars cash. On weekends and holidays there is a $1 surcharge. Second, take a seat and complete and sign both halves of the Arrivals/Departure form. Wait 10 minutes or so until your name (or something resembling it!) is called from the right hand window, collect your passport with its (previously 15 but now) 30 day visa, and proceed to one of the Foreign Passports arrivals booths, where you will be processed. Check to make sure you are stamped in for thirty days and not fifteen as previously. Walk past Customs; they rarely stop foreign tourists unless they are carrying a lot of extra bags. At the Entry Fee booth pay 10 or 20 baht. The final stop is a uniformed official who briefly checks your passport and the entry receipts. Welcome to Laos!

If you want to stock up on imported liquor and cigarettes, you can buy freely at the Duty Free shops on the Lao side. However, liquor prices are much the same in town: very cheap compared to Thailand. Most people take a bottle of something when they go back to Nongkhai.

Source: www.asiakingtravel.com

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