• Source: VisasNews

Until the end of the year, Laos is extending its visa exemption policy and increasing visa validity for tourists from select countries as part of the "Visit Laos Year 2024" initiative. We encourage our international Globe Aware volunteers to check if their country is included!

Laos eases visa policies

June 28, 2024

Until the end of the year, Laos is extending its visa exemption policy and increasing visa validity for tourists from certain countries.

Aiming to attract more than 2.7 million international tourists in 2024 and 2.9 million in 2025, Laos has launched the “Visit Laos Year 2024” initiative.

As part of this program and to boost its tourism sector, Lao authorities announced last week that they are considering easing their visa policies.

While Laos currently exempts only 15 countries from visa requirements, mainly in Asia, officials had proposed extending the list of visa-free countries to attract more visitors.

Like Indonesia, which relies on Chinese tourists to boost its tourism economy, Laos is also focusing on visitors from China to invigorate its tourism sector.

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Laos exempts tourists from China and 8 other countries from visa requirements

In new guidelines unveiled a few days ago, Lao Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Suanesavanh Vignaket, introduced various temporary visa measures that will take effect from July 1 until December 31, 2024.

Among these new guidelines is a 15-day visa exemption for Chinese tourists, including those with Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan passports, traveling in an organized group through an agency registered and approved by the Lao Ministry of Tourism.

For travelers from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Greece, Norway, and Sweden, the visa requirement will be waived for an initial visit of up to 15 days if they travel for tourism purposes.

Multiple-entry visa and extended stay duration for tourists from 22 countries

Another relaxation of visa policies concerns more nationalities.

Until December 31, 2024, tourists from 22 countries will be able to obtain multiple-entry visas valid for stays in Laos of up to 60 days.

Currently, the Lao visa allows only one entry into the country for a maximum stay of 30 days.

The 22 eligible countries are:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.
To benefit from this extended visa validity, it is imperative to apply before departure at a Lao embassy or consulate.

Those who wish to obtain their visa upon arrival in Laos or an electronic visa (e-Visa) on the laoevisa.gov.la portal before their departure, will be granted a single-entry visa, not a multiple-entry one, for a maximum stay of 60 days.

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