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Formalities for entering the country

Be aware that the rules can change...

Formalities for entering the country used to be long, difficult, expensive and restrictive. They’ve become much more flexible these last few years. The administration has made a great effort, but they are still influenced by a French past which wasn’t particularly efficient. With a smile, everything becomes much easier in this country For those that are interested ...

Previously (up until the 1st of June 2012)

- A valid passport, (with a period of at least 6 months before needing renewal)
- 2 recent identity photographs, in colour or black & white, size 1,18”x1,57”
- A valid visa (i.e. with all dates valid …)

The visa

- From the Embassy in Laos : For tourists, they can have visas for one or two months. They give the right to enter Laos for the number of days requested. Expect to pay 30 to 50 euros for a one month visa.
- From Thailand : You can obtain a month’s visa in one day. Count at least 3 days if you’re in Chiang Mai
- On the Lao border : It is delivered without any problems at the International borders (not the local ones), 30 to 45 dollars (according to your nationallity) to be paid in American money. Make sure you have with you the exact amount, otherwise there will probably be problems with the exchange rates. Don’t forget to bring 2 identity photos.
- Extending your visa in Laos, this is possible and done regularly. The price is between 1 and 4 dollars according to whether you request a 5 day extension or a month. Eventually foresee, a few days spare without a passport, if you are not in the capital or at Louang Prabang.

Recommended sources of information

- The Embassy of Laos in France
- The Embassy of Laos in the USA
- The Embassy of France in Laos
- Advice to travellers by the Minister of Foreign Affairs