Health and Travel Alert – U.S. Embassy Vientiane, Laos

Health and Travel Alert – U.S. Embassy Vientiane, Laos (April 3, 2020)




Event: 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 U.S. Embassy in support of visa extension requests.  The Embassy can provide such a letter if necessary; please direct requests to

Closure of Private Hospitals

On March 29 the Lao Prime Minister decreed that private hospitals and clinics in Laos will close in order to contain COVID 19.  The Lao Ministry of Health announced the implementation of this order on April 2.  Pursuant to this order, private hospitals and clinics are not to admit new patients; current patients will be released after successful completion of their treatment.  U.S. citizens seeking medical assistance should therefore visit Lao Government Hospitals, which remain open.

Some private hospitals and clinics may have received special permission to remain open; the Embassy urges U.S. Citizens to check directly with private health care providers.

Possible Evacuation Flights for United States Citizens

The Department of State is preparing a potential evacuation flight with capacity for private U.S. citizens on a reimbursable basis, leaving Wattay International Airport in early April 2020, and proceeding to a destination in the United States TBD. Estimated cost per passenger is subject to change based on aircraft availability, flight restrictions, and a variety of factors outside the control of the Embassy. Details on the destination of the flight are forthcoming; passengers will be responsible for booking domestic flights to their final destinations.

Please note that all passengers will need to reimburse the U.S. Government for the flight, and a promissory note must be signed before boarding.

U.S. citizens in possession of valid U.S. passports who are interested and prepared to travel should complete this survey here immediately. Please do not call to confirm receipt of your email; you will be contacted with additional information.

Each traveler should submit their information individually (one form per passenger). Parents/guardians should submit one form for each child that will be accompanying them and note their relationship in the “Special Considerations” box in the form.

U.S. citizens without a valid U.S. passport who wish to depart on this flight should send their name, date of birth, and the number of their most recent expired passport to Please indicate that the passport is expired. You will be contacted with information on how to obtain an emergency passport.

U.S. Legal Permanent Residents (holders of valid Green Cards) who wish to depart on this flight should send their name, date of birth, and A number (Green Card number) to

Individuals on this transport may be subject to CDC screening, health observation, monitoring requirements and existing DHS entry requirements. Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.

Who is eligible to be included in a repatriation flight?

U.S. citizens are eligible. One parent or guardian escorting a U.S. citizen minor is eligible, provided they have a valid U.S. visa. The Embassy will not adjudicate visa applications in support of evacuation operations.

Others who may be eligible: Foreign spouses or children of U.S. citizens and U.S. Legal Permanent Residents. Listed below are minimum requirements for those categories. Even if you meet the criteria, we cannot guarantee you will receive a seat.

Foreign Spouse:

  • Valid foreign passport;
  • Valid visa for entry to the United States; and
  • Original evidence of qualifying relationship to U.S. citizen on the flight (e.g. original marriage certificate).

Child of a U.S. citizen:

  • Valid foreign passport;
  • Valid visa for entry to the United States; and
  • Original birth certificate clearly indicating the parent’s U.S. citizenship.


Please note that the U.S. Embassy is currently unable to process visas.

U.S. Legal Permanent Resident (LPR):

  • Green Card; and
  • Valid foreign passport.

If you have not been physically present in the United States in the past 12 months, you do not qualify for repatriation as an LPR.

An LPR’s family members who have not obtained green cards are not eligible for evacuation assistance.

Can nannies or household employees be included on repatriation flights?

Household servants and nannies are not considered immediate family members and are not eligible for U.S. Government-sponsored evacuation.


Pets cannot be accommodated on a U.S. Government charter or U.S. military evacuation flight. We suggest that you make private arrangements for care or transportation of your pets as early as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Repatriation are answered on our website at:


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