Laos Tourist Visa on an Arrival with an Indian Passport: 7 Things to Keep in Mind

Laos PDR allows Visa on Arrival for Indian Passport holders for stay up to 30 days. This post tells you on how to score a Laos visa on arrival with an Indian passport as you arrive at one of the international borders of Laos. You may also choose to opt for an E-visa for Laos!

Click here for more Travel blogs on Laos!

Laos is a beautiful landlocked country located in Southeast Asia. One of the last domino of the Communist regimes around the globe and a very small country, Laos PDR is home to 7 million people. 

Laos opened its door to tourists only in 1989, with the surge in new world order as a part of the glasnost program. Ever since, there has been no looking back for Laos as more and more backpackers and explorers set footprints in the pristine mountainous north of Laos! 

Laos is known to the travelers’ clan for ethereal set up of the UNESCO world heritage ancient city of Luang Prabang. Beside traveling to Luang Prabang, plenty of other destinations are emerging with new offerings, like remote village of Nong Khiaw, Vang Vieng, the capital of Vientiane, Luang Namtha etc. 

Laos allows Visa on Arrival and provision of E-visa for tourists from most of the nations. Here is a detailed list by Laos government.. Visa fee varies depending on the nationality of the tourist. We will discuss a few points you should keep in mind before applying for a Laos visa on Indian Passport. This is based on my personal experience on traveling to Laos.  

My experience of scoring a Visa on Arrival at Luang Prabang, Laos!

I reached Luang Prabang at 8 am in the morning by a Bangkok Airways flight. We were provided with an arrival slip to be filled up while at the aircraft that required us to note down the flight we came in, the place we were going to stay and a few details related to the onward journey.

We collected our luggage, reached immigration with the arrival slip and a passport. I was asked for how long my stay is scheduled, where am I planning to go in Laos, where am I going to stay and what do I do. As I said, I write about travels, the immigration officer was amused!

It did not take me more than 5 minutes to get the visa stamped. Visa on Arrival fee in Laos is USD 40.

Also read: Suggested 3 days itinerary in Luang Prabang!

Laos Visa on Arrival is granted at every International Border Check-point

You can reach Laos by crossing the border by river (think slow boat ride on Mekong river) or an overnight train journey from Bangkok. At every prominent international check point, Visa on Arrival is granted. There are 22 prominent check points where this facility is available.

Visa fee for Laos

Only a handful of countries have visa fees waived off while traveling to Laos. Citizens of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as Japan, South Korea, Russia and Switzerland are the “chosen” ones!

Otherwise, you pay USD 40 for visa fee to enter Laos as a tourist. In case you are traveling at odd hours between 6 am to 8 am or a weekend or a national holiday, you will be charged extra amount, on top on the Visa fee.

Also read: Places to visit in Laos in 7 days!

Visa duration granted with a Visa on Arrival

Laos Visa on Arrival grants you a stay of 30 days in the country. After 30 days, you need to extend the visa by visiting respective embassy. In case you leave the country before 30 days are over, you need to have a renewed visa on Arrival which in turn would allow you another 30 days in the country.

Things to provide to Immigration to score a Laos visa on an Indian Passport

  1. 2 passport size photographs with light or white background
  2. Passport with at least 6 months validity or more. The passport needs to be the original one.
  3. Proof of accommodation and fund
  4. Cash payment for visa fee (USD accepted)

Passport Specification

Dog-earred passports and passports with less than 6 months validity are frowned upon and might revoke your entry to Laos.

Should you want to increase tourist Visa validity in Laos

Visa on arrival in Laos only allows you a stay for up to a period of 30 days. Post which you need to visit the embassy and apply for extension. You may visit Laos PDR embassy in your respective country and apply for an extended tourist visa if you plan to travel long term in Laos.

Also read: the most beautiful and handmade souvenirs from Luang Prabang, Laos!

Apply for an Easy E-visa for Laos instead!

While visa on arrival in Laos is a cakewalk for most, it might turn into a challenge during tourist season when there is a heavy rush at the airport. I had to wait for at least a couple of hours when I was in Mauritius and I wished for an easier entry through Electronic visa like they do in Malaysia!

From 2019, Laos PDR has introduced the new E-Visa system that processes electronic visa applications within 3 business days. Upon approval, the Laos E-visa is valid for the next 60 days. Travelers must visit Laos within 60 days and can opt to travel in Laos for the next 30 days. 

Following airports in Laos allow entry to e-visa holders. 

  • Wattay International Airport 
  • Luang Prabang International Airport 
  • Pakse International Airport 
  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I 
  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II

Armed with a month long Visa at hand, you are free to explore Laos at your own speed. You can spend your days watching life unfold by the banks of the Mekong river. You can leave Luang Prabang and venture into the offbeat interior of Laos. Embrace adventure and learn living as one among nature in simple rustic rural livelihood. You can trace back the remnant of French colonial influence in Luang Prabang, Vientiane. While losing yourself along the unmarked nature trails and hikes, always remember that Laos remains as the most heavily bombed country by the US during the Vietnam war. Many unexploded cluster bombs still remain, not diffused, hidden in her verdant valleys. A killer trap. Keep that in mind and be cognizant as you go ahead and explore! 


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