The different types of visa for Laos and how to choose the right one for you

Visas for Laos

Laos, with its breathtaking scenery, rich culture and fascinating history, attracts visitors from all over the world. Whether you're an adventurer looking to explore, a culture enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful haven, Laos has something to offer everyone. However, before diving into the Laotian experience, it's crucial to understand the country's visa system to ensure a smooth trip. In this article, we will detail the different types of visa for Laos and guide you in choosing the right visa for your stay.

Understanding the basics of visas for Laos

Why you need a visa for Laos

Laos requires most visitors to obtain a visa before entering the country. This measure regulates the entry and stay of foreigners, guaranteeing security and public order.

General eligibility criteria

Generally, to be eligible for a Lao visa, your passport must be valid for at least six months after your intended date of entry, and you must have at least two blank pages available for the entry and exit stamp.

The different types of visa for Laos

Tourist visa

The tourist visa is the most common type of visa for visitors to Laos. Valid for 30 days, it can be obtained on arrival at the main entry points or via Laotian embassies and consulates abroad.

Business visa

Intended for professionals visiting Laos for business reasons, the business visa often requires a letter of invitation from a Laotian company.

Visa on arrival

Available to nationals of many countries, the visa on arrival is practical for those who do not have the opportunity to apply for a visa before their departure.

Electronic Visa (eVisa)

Laos has recently introduced eVisa to simplify the visa application process. The eVisa is applied for online and is a quick option for obtaining travel authorisation before arrival.

Long-stay visa

For those wishing to stay in Laos for an extended period, there are long-stay visa options, which generally require additional documents and justification for the extended stay.

Visas for Laos

How to choose the right visa for you

The choice of visa for Laos depends essentially on the purpose of your visit, whether it is for tourism, business, study or other reasons, as well as the planned length of your stay. It is crucial to understand the specific requirements for each type of visa, including the documents to be provided, the applicable fees and the processing times. In addition, if your trip is to exceed the standard duration granted by the visa, it is important to find out about the possibility of extending your visa and the specific criteria for doing so.

Practical advice on applying for a visa for Laos

Preparing the necessary documents

  • Valid passport for at least six months after your planned departure from Laos, with at least two blank pages.
  • Two recent passport photos on a white background.
  • Visa application form filled in precisely.
  • Letter of invitation for certain visas, such as business visas.
  • Proof of hotel reservation and proof of financial meansif necessary.
  • Return ticket to prove your intention to leave Laos.

Tips for a successful visa application

  • Check specific requirements to your nationality on the website of the Laotian embassy or consulate.
  • Start the process well in advance to avoid any last-minute stress.
  • Pay attention to detail to avoid mistakes on the application form.
  • Keep copies of all documents submitted.

In the event of refusal

  • Ask for the reasons for refusal to understand what needs to be corrected.
  • Address the problems identified correcting errors or providing missing documents.
  • Consider professional help if you encounter any difficulties.
  • Resubmit your request after correcting the problems.

By following these steps and tips, you'll maximise your chances of a smooth visa application for Laos.


Choosing the right visa for Laos is a crucial step in planning your trip. By learning about the different types of visa and carefully preparing your application, you can ensure trouble-free entry into this beautiful and welcoming country. Armed with this information and advice, you are now better prepared to choose the right visa for your Laotian adventure. Enjoy your trip!

Visas for Laos

Marc Dupont

Marc is the ultimate adventurer. A former survival instructor, he has a penchant for wild destinations and extreme challenges. From skydiving in New Zealand to solo trekking in Patagonia, Marc shares his tips for having unforgettable adventures while staying safe.

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