Will US citizens require a visa to travel to Laos?

Just like many other countries, travelers from the US are also required to obtain a visa to get permission to enter Laos. So, if you’re an American citizen sitting back at home and planning to visit Laos, you first need to know about the visa requirements to travel to Laos from the US. The visa to Laos is available online, on arrival at different entry points of Laos, and also from your embassy. 

Visitors traveling via plane can receive a visa to Laos at the international airport in Vientiane, Pakse, and Luang Patang. Presently, Laos has seven international airports and 14 major crossings that let visitors obtain their visas. 

For expediting the procedures on arrival and crossing the border in Laos, the Immigration Department provides an easy-to-obtain eVisa for Laos in addition to the other methods discussed above. 

Citizens of the US – Do you need a visa to travel to Laos?

For American citizens, a visa to enter Laos can be available online, where travelers must mention the purpose of their visit, whether business or tourist. For American tourists entering Laos, you can use the online method of applying for a visa, also called the eVisa Approval letter. This approval letter permits US citizens easy entry into Laos for around 30 days. If you want to extend your time, the applicant has to get in touch with the relevant authorities. 

The online visa for entering Laos has to be applied with enough time to ensure that the applicant has all the required documents for entering the country on arrival. 

For American travelers traveling for business purposes, a Laos business visa has to be obtained instead of a tourist visa. The former takes more time to be processed. This is why you should start the process at least three months before the actual date of travel. 

It may take a longer time for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to sanction such an approval. Usually, it takes a minimum of one month for the business visa to be processed but in case of complications, it can take even longer. 

Just as you can extend the tourist visa, you can also extend the business visa for an additional 60 days. In order to get a Laos visa for Americans, travelers should make sure that the visa requirements are met. 

Getting an online visa for Laos – The list of requirements for Americans

Just as other South-east Asian countries, the government of Laos has also implemented an evisa which means that the citizens from the US can apply for a Laos visa online without the hassle of standing in queues. However, in order to do so, an applicant has to send the documents listed below to complete and submit the eVisa application form. 

  • Application form for Laos visa which can be downloaded online
  • An original and signed copy of US passport with a minimum of 6-month validity
  • One passport-sized photograph which is not more than three months old on a white background

When applicants are given an opportunity to apply online, it can keep them away from the stress of visiting embassies, standing in lines and investing your time and effort. The passport is supposed to come with blank pages so that there is sufficient space for the stamp.

When all proper requirements are met, it can take less than a month to be finalized, sometimes as little as ten working days. 

The procedure of application of Laos visa from the United States of America

You can get the visa to Laos from America well in advance before the date of departure. This clearly means that travelers can do so either by applying through your embassy or online. Here are the three simple steps you have to take:

  • Fill out the form with personal details
  • Review the details and confirm payment of the required fees
  • Receive your Laos Approval letter in your email

The online method of applying for a visa is less stressful as the applicants aren’t required to visit the consulates and embassies. The online method of applying for a visa lets you process the visa by sending all required documents and making online payments. 

Once it is processed, the eVisa will be sent to the mail address that you have mentioned. For most travelers, seeking a Laos online visa, especially for Americans is undoubtedly the simplest method of obtaining travel authorization for visiting Laos. 

Laos Business Visa Application process

The Business travelers to Laos from America should submit the following details during the application process for a Laos visa. 


  • One blank visa page
  • Six months validity
  • Should not be damaged


  • Two color passport-size photos taken within the past three months 
  • 2×2 inches size
  • Should be taken against a white background
  • Face should be facing towards the front with a neutral expression
  • No eyeglasses or headwear are allowed except for religious reasons

Business Cover Letter:

  • The letter needs to be from your company
  • Should include a US mailing address
  • Should be printed on company letterhead

Invitation Letter:

  • One letterhead of the company
  • Phone number and address of the company which has to be visited
  • Mention the total number of entries which you want for the visa

How do US citizens benefit through the Laos online visa?

Applying for the Laos online visa is more beneficial than applying for a visa on arrival or getting it from the embassy beforehand. The online application definitely takes less time to complete and less time to process too thereby making the entire process smoother. 

Therefore, if you’re someone who has long been planning to visit Laos from the US, you should keep in mind all the above-listed details of getting your visa on time.

Ashley Hubbard

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