Event: Government of Laos Announces Updated Entry and Exit Regulations
The Government of Laos announced new entry and exit regulations to reduce and contain the spread of COVID-19. These regulations complement the measures that the Government of Laos announced on February 3 and July 29, 2020. These regulations will be in effect until further notice. The following is a general summary of the new and continuing regulations that may be of interest to U.S. Citizens:
- All land border crossings and airports will remain closed, with limited exceptions;
- Entry into Laos is granted only in very limited circumstances and depends on multiple requirements;
- Individuals already holding visas also need to carry an entry authorization from the Task Force Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- The sponsoring organization should request the entry authorization (for example, if you have a work visa to enter Laos, your company or business should request the entry authorization);
- All citizens must bring negative COVID test results taken within 72 hours of departure for Laos and will be tested for COVID-19 again at the airport;
- All entrants will be subject to COVID-19 testing and a 14-day self-quarantine requirement at their own expense;
- All U.S. Citizens who wish to depart Laos must inform the Embassy. The Embassy will then formally notify the Government of Laos who will then grant permission.
In light of these new procedures, we urge all U.S. Citizens who plan to depart Laos to inform the Embassy at their earliest possible convenience so that we may assist them in requesting exit permission from the Government of Laos. Please note that all requests for exit permission must include specific travel plans, including time and point of departure and mode of transportation. Please do not contact the Embassy for assistance until you have specific travel plans. You will not need a confirmation letter to carry as you exit the country.
The full text of the announcement in English can be here.
Extending Visas in Laos
According to the Lao Department of Immigration, U.S. Citizens seeking to extend visas that have expired due to unforeseen circumstances related to COVID-19 can do so at the Department of Immigration Office in Vientiane. U.S. Citizens outside Vientiane can request extension at provincial Public Security Offices. Extension can be requested in one-month increments, at a rate of 20,000 kip (around USD $2.50) per day of extension. Thus, one month of extension should cost around USD $75, plus a nominal administrative fee. Though not required, some immigration officers may request a letter from the Embassy in support of visa extension requests. The Embassy can provide such a letter if necessary; please direct requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Actions to Take:
Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Laos.
Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the U.S.
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
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