Laos Entry Requirements
Laos Entry Requirements outline all the rules that travelers must meet to enter Laos without any issues. These requirements comprise, i.a., the necessary documents to be gathered prior to departure. One of the most essential documents that one needs to have to visit Laos is a valid passport.
The passport must remain valid for at least 6 months from the date of intended arrival date in Laos. Moreover, it should have two blank pages.
Another important document that most foreign travelers must hold for a trip to Laos is a visa. The Lao visa policy specifies visa requirements which may differ depending on the traveler's nationality, travel purpose, and the period of time they wish to stay in Laos.
A visa for Laos can be obtained either online, on arrival, or at an embassy.
Currently, there are around 160 different countries in the world whose nationals can apply for the Lao e-Visa entirely online. The electronic visa is approved usually within 3 business days and enables visiting Laos for short-term tourism-related purposes.
Additionally, nationals of 7 countries are required to obtain a visa on arrival in Laos. The VoA is issued at almost all Lao ports of entry. After arriving in Laos, a traveler must go to the immigration checkpoint and wait for visa approval. Sometimes the application procedure may take several hours depending on the number of people waiting in line.
An embassy or consular visa is the last option for getting a necessary visa permit before traveling to Laos. Citizens of countries not listed as eligible for e-Visa must obtain a visa directly from the Lao diplomatic mission regardless of their planned duration of stay or travel purpose. Obtaining a visa from the embassy is also necessary for all those travelers who plan to spend in Laos more time or their travel purposes are different than those covered by e-Visa, e.g., work or study.
Due to the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic, the Lao authorities decided to temporarily close the country's borders to international travelers. The Lao Government welcomed travelers again in May 2022, restoring the issuance of visas on arrival and e-Visas.
At the moment, some coronavirus restrictions remain in place. Fully vaccinated travelers who are able to provide a valid vaccination certificate are exempt from the pre-departure Covid-19 testing requirement. Unvaccinated individuals, however, will still need to take an ATK test within 48 hours prior to the planned departure time. All travelers can visit Laos quaranitne-free no matter their vaccination status.
Please note: Covid-19 entry regulations are constantly changing. Remember to consult the recent update on entry rules to ensure smooth entry to Laos.
Who can enter Laos?
Since May 2022, Lao borders have been reopened to international tourism. The country welcomes all travelers regardless of vaccination status.
Documents check-list for entering Laos
- valid passport
- Lao visa
- negative ATK test (only if unvaccinated)
- Covid-19 vaccination certificate (if vaccinated)
- Lao Green Pass
- travel insurance (optional)
Testing, vaccination, and quarantine requirements
Only non-vaccinated travelers are subject to testing requirements. They must provide a negative result of the ATK test taken within 48 hours prior to departure time. The test certificate must be issued in English. If the certificate is in another language, a certified English translation is required.
Lao Government recognizes all Covid-19 vaccines accepted by the World Health Organization. To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveler must have received the last dose of vaccination at least 14 days before the intended trip. There are no regulations regarding booster doses.
The vaccination certificate must be in English. Otherwise, a traveler needs to provide a certified translation. The Lao authorities accept EU Digital Covid Certificate.
Important: A person who has not been administered the full regimen of the Covid-19 vaccine or it has not elapsed at least 14 days from receiving the last vaccination dose is recognized as non-vaccinated.
Both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers can arrive in Laos quarantine-free.
In case of Covid-19 contraction during a stay in Laos, a traveler bears all the costs of treatment, examination, and isolation.
Traveling from Laos
There are no specific exit requirements to depart Laos. Nevertheless, make sure to contact your airline directly for additional information, including whether they have imposed their own rules requiring passengers, for example, to provide a valid negative PCR test to board the flight or confirm your vaccine status.
Please do remember that the Covid-19 regulations are subject to rapid change, and you must always check the most up-to-date information before any international travel.
Traveling to Laos
Lao remains fully open for international travelers. Fully vaccinated arrivals can enjoy no travel restrictions, while unvaccinated passengers only need to provide a negative rapid ATK test report taken within 48h before departure. All travelers, whether vaccinated or not, do not need to quarantine upon arrival in the country.
The Lao authorities restored the pre-covid normality and offer a visa on arrival facility, while eligible travelers can also apply for Lao e-Visa online.
Entry Rules for Children
Children aged 12 and younger are exempt from testing and vaccination requirements.
Children above 12 years of age are subject to the same entry requirements as adult travelers.
Transit through Laos
Currently, there are no options to transit through Laos.
Laos visa requirements
In 2019, the Lao Government introduced the electornic visa system to facilitate the application procedure to certain travelers.
The Lao e-Visa is issued as a single-entry visa allowing for a 30-day stay in Laos for tourism or business-related activities.
Online application for an e-Visa allows saving plenty of time and energy since a traveler no longer needs to bother themselves with embassy appointments.
Currently, there are around 160 different nationalities eligible for Lao e-Visa.
Visa on Arrival
Lao visa regulations state that nationals of 7 countries in the world must obtain a visa on arrival to visit Laos for short-term stays. The visa on arrival is issued at certain port of entries and allows its holder only one 30-day entry to Laos.
Since there may be long lines at the border, the VoA application may entails waiting long hours to receive the visa approval. Applicants need to submit certain supporting documents as well as cover the visa fee.
Eligible citizens can apply for the VoA at any Lao entry port except for the following ones:
- Subhun (with China)
- Napao-Chalo (with Vietnam)
- Xieng Kok river port (with Myanmar)
- Pakxan-Bueng Kan (with Thailand)
Complete list of countries whose nationals require getting a visa on arrival in Laos:
- Vatican City
- Palestinian Territory
- South Sudan
Embassy or Consular Visa Required
According to the Lao visa policy, nationals of around 80 different countries must apply for a visa for Laos directly at the Lao embassy regardless of their travel purpose or intended duration of stay in the country.
Majortiy of these countries whose citizens require an embassy visa are located in the Middle East and Africa.
Moreover, all travelers, including those eligible for e-Visa, who plan to visit Laos for long-term stay or their travel motives are not covered by the electronic visa, are also required to apply for a relevant visa in a traditional way.
To obtain an embassy or consular visa, an applicant need to book an appointment at the nearest diplomatic mission. It should be arranged much in advance of the planned journey as the traditional visa procedures are usually time-consuming and take up to several weeks.
Depending on the selected visa type, different supporting documents may be necessary to submit during one of the visits at the embassy.
List of countries whose nationals require embassy visa to visit Laos:
- Aland Islands
- American Samoa
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Christmas Island
- Cocos Islands
- Cook Islands
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- French Guiana
- French Polynesia
- Isle of Man
- Ivory Coast
- New Caledonia
- Norfolk Island
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Pitcairn Islands
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Barthelemy
- Saint Helena
- Saint Martin
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Sierra Leone
- Sint Maarten
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Svalbard and Jan Mayen
- Syrian Arab Republic
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United States Virgin Islands
- Wallis and Futuna
Lao Green Pass
All passengers arriving into Lao PDR should complete the Lao Green Pass and obtain the QR Code with Health Declaration. Registration for the Lao Green Pass can be started one day before the planned trip to Laos.
Passengers who fail to acquire QR Code through LGP may face some delays upon arrival in the country and may be required to undergo post-arrival quarantine.
Additionally, all travelers arriving in Laos need to download LaoKYC and LaoStaySafe trace apps. Both applications are available on iOS and Android.
All travelers to Laos are advised to purchase insurance covering potential costs of medical treatment, hospitalization as well as medical evacuation.
Lack of the proper insurance in case of an emergency situation, including Covid-19 infection, may result in the necessity of bearing huge costs.
Since Laos honors only certain insurance providers, you should check which international insurance company has an agreement with the local Assurances Generales du Laos (AGL).