Exploring the Enchanting Land of Laos
Laos, a hidden gem in Southeast Asia, offers breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a serene atmosphere that captivates travellers from around the world. With its charming temples, lush greenery, and the mighty Mekong River, Laos is a must-visit destination for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure. If you're planning a trip to Laos, it's essential to familiarise yourself with the Laos visa requirements, particularly the Laos visa on arrival process. In this blog, we'll walk you through the steps and provide valuable information to ensure a smooth entry into the country.
Countries Eligible and Not Eligible for Visa on Arrival in Laos
While Laos offers visa on arrival to citizens of many countries, there are some exceptions. The following countries are not eligible for visa on arrival in Laos. If you are from a country not on this list, then you can easily retrieve a visa on arrival in Laos.
(Not allowed Laos Visa on arrival)
- Ivory Coast
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
The list can consistently change, for the latest details on your specific country check out: Laos Visa Travel.
Before Visiting Laos: Visa on Arrival Requirements
To obtain a visa on arrival in Laos, you need to ensure you have the following:
1. Passport Picture: It is recommended to carry at least one passport picture with you. While the authorities may not always ask for it, having one readily available can save you from any last-minute inconvenience.
2. Cash: The visa fee for most nationalities is $40 USD. It's advisable to carry this amount in cash for a smoother transaction. Please note that Chinese and Vietnamese citizens pay $20 USD for the visa.
3. Passport with 6 Months Validity: Your passport should be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Laos.
4. Visa Forms and a Pen: Upon arrival, you'll need to complete two visa forms. These forms are often provided on the plane, but it's useful to have a pen handy to fill them out.
Arriving into Laos: Visa on Arrival Process
When you arrive in Laos, you'll follow a simple visa on arrival process. There are 3 counters in a line and you will have to go to each one in order. Here's what to expect:
Counter 1: Submitting Documentation: At the first counter, hand over your completed visa forms, passport picture (if requested), and your passport to the immigration officer. They will review the documents and proceed to the next step.
Counter 2: Paying Visa Fee: At the second counter, you'll pay the visa fee in cash.
Counter 3: Photo and Passport Collection: After paying the visa fee, proceed to the third counter. Here, you'll have your photo taken, and your passport will be returned to you with the visa sticker affixed.
Wait Time for Visa on Arrival in Laos
The visa on arrival process in Laos usually takes around 30 minutes on average, depending on the number of travellers arriving at the same time. During peak hours or when large tour groups are present, the process may take longer. It's worth noting that the visa processing itself typically takes around five minutes.
Cost for Visa on Arrival in Laos
The cost for a visa on arrival in Laos is $40 USD for most nationalities. However, Chinese and Vietnamese citizens enjoy a reduced fee of $20 USD. Payment is accepted in USD, but Thai baht is also an option, with the equivalent of approximately 1900 Baht (around $50 USD) as of July 2023.
As you plan your journey to Laos, understanding the visa on arrival process is crucial for a hassle-free entry into the country. Remember to bring a passport picture, cash for the visa fee, a pen, and ensure your passport has at least six months of validity. With these preparations in place, you'll be ready to explore the wonders of Laos and create memories to cherish. Please note that the information provided in this blog is valid as of July 2023, and it's always advisable to check for any updates or changes before your travel. Enjoy your visit to Laos!