The eVisa for Laos will finally be launched in July after a long period of development, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on the 25th of June. The eVisa will allow individuals from eligible nations around the world to obtain travel authorization exclusively online before arriving in Laos.
The eVisa for Laos will first allow eligible travelers to apply for a tourist visa online, valid for a stay of up to 30 days in the country. Other types of visa for Laos are to be made available through the system in the near future, the government has confirmed. The online visa system will be managed by a combination of the Lao Consular Affairs Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Public Security.
Those eligible will be able to apply for the tourist eVisa through a simple online application by providing personal data, travel information, and supporting documents, and paying a visa fee, in order to receive an official eVisa approval letter. The government has confirmed that the standard processing time for eVisa applications will be up to 3 days, although it may take longer in some cases.
Successful applicants will be able to gain expedited access to the country using a download copy of the approval letter and the applicant’s passport. To further facilitate the entry process for eVisa holders, the Lao government has also announced the implementation of special eVisa priority lanes at the following seven ports of entry in the country:
Wattay International Airport
Luang Prabang International Airport
Pakse International Airport
Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I
Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II
Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge IV
Boten International Checkpoint
The Laos eVisa is just the latest in a string of improvements being put into motion by the Lao government, in keeping with their plans to modernize and accelerate public services. The main aim of introducing the new system is to attract higher numbers of tourists to Laos, a goal the government is sure the streamlined application process will help to achieve. Many of the countries neighboring Laos, such as Thailand and Vietnam, have already implemented electronic visa systems to boost tourism with successful results.
The eVisa will immediately replace the need to apply at an embassy or consulate for single entry short stays for tourism. However, those who wish to spend more than 30 days in the country, or obtain a multiple-entry visa for Laos, will currently still be required to visit a Laos embassy or consulate before traveling to the country, or queue at the border for a visa on arrival.