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

Location: Laos 

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.  

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

 Actions to Take: