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Laos Visa

Russians, Korean, Japanese and ASEAN nationals including Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines can enter Laos “visa free”; all other tourists need a visa in the form of a tourist visa (for one or possibly two months) issued by a Lao embassy or consulate. A visa on arrival is also available to most people entering at the airports in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse, as well as the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge between Nong Khai in Thailand and Vientiane and on the Lao/vietnam-Border. It is also available when entering via Stung Treng (Cambodia). When applying for a tourist visa or to obtain a visa on arrival, one (maybe two at Lao embassies) passport photo is required (although you may be able to pay a US$1 “fee” to have this requirement waived).

Prices range from US$30 to US$42 depending on nationality – Americans pay US$35, Australians US$30, Canadians US$42, Chileans US$30, Belgians US$30, British, Dutch, Swiss, Italians US$35, Swedes US$31, Germans $30-$35.

Visas can be obtained in advance from Lao embassies/consulates. The fee varies by nationality/embassy; US$20 is common, although can be as high as US$63 (in Kuala Lumpur). Processing times also vary; 2-3 days is typical, though you may be able to pay an extra small amount (around US$5) to receive the visa in as little as one hour.

There are Visa-on-Arrival facilities at the international airports in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse, and at all border crossings (see below), including now overland from Cambodia (visa on arrival facilities opened at Voen Kham -north of Stung Treng, Cambodia- in February 2010). The cost varies between US$30 and US$42 (if paid with US$ notes; paying with Thai baht will cost considerably more and border officials will not accept Lao kip at all). A US$1 “out of office hours/overtime” surcharge, and a small (possibly 10 baht to US$1) entry stamp fee, might also be charged.

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