Health and Travel Alert: U.S. Embassy Vientiane, Laos (July 9, 2020)
Event: Commercial Flight from Vientiane to Seoul on July 18; Consular Section Open for Limited American Citizen Services (ACS) Appointments; Presidential Proclamations Suspending Entry of Certain Foreign Nationals; Extending Visas in Laos.
Commercial Flight from Vientiane to Seoul on July 18
A private business, TicketLao, has organized a special Lao Airlines flight from Vientiane (VTE) to Seoul (ICN), expected to depart 00:15 on Saturday, July 18, and arrive in Seoul at approximately 07:05 the same day. There are still a few tickets available. Tickets are USD$700/adult, $500/child under 12 years old, and $150/infant under 24 months (on lap). All tickets for this flight are non-refundable.
Tickets for this flight can only be purchased by personally appearing on the third floor of the Lao Airlines building on Rue Manthatourath (across from the Champa Spa) in downtown Vientiane between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The office is closed from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. for lunch. Please bring with you a copy of your U.S. passport.
These tickets are very limited and are available to the general public. Please note that this flight is arranged by a private business; the Embassy makes no guarantee of quality of service or availability of tickets for U.S. citizens. The Embassy cannot answer questions about the flight or seat availability; please direct such questions to the contact details above. The Embassy also will not make travel arrangements on your behalf.
In addition to purchasing this VTE-ICN ticket, U.S. citizen travelers should make arrangements using available commercial means (e.g. online or a travel agent) for a connecting flight departing Incheon International Airport within 24 hours of arrival in South Korea (i.e. no later than 07:05 on Sunday, July 19) toward their final destination in the United States. You must be able to present proof of purchase of this onward ticket to be allowed to board the plane in Vientiane.
Please note that the Republic of Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) imposes a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all inbound passengers. Most foreign travelers on short-term travel will be required to quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense for 14 days (this includes U.S. citizens traveling on 90-day visa free travel and short-term visa holders). The facility will cost approximately 100 U.S. dollars per night. All passengers who exhibit symptoms will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing on arrival at the airport.
Passengers transiting through Incheon International Airport to third countries will not face this quarantine requirement. Thus, U.S. citizens who purchase tickets on this flight must not leave the passenger area of Incheon International Airport and should arrange onward travel that departs within 24 hours of their arrival. You can find more information at the website of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.
We encourage U.S. citizens who want to return to the United States immediately to book this flight if they have the means to do so and can arrange ongoing travel accordingly. We are not aware of any other commercial flight routes from Vientiane to an airport with connecting flights to the United States. The U.S. Embassy is not organizing another special chartered flight.
Consular Section Open for Limited American Citizen Services (ACS) Appointments
With the improvements in the Covid-19 situation in Laos, the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane is now able to offer limited in-person appointments for passports, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and notaries. You may use our online system to request passport and notarial appointments here. For CRBA services please follow the instructions here to submit required documents. We will schedule a CRBA appointment for you once you have submitted all documents.
In response to the COVID-19 situation, the U.S. Embassy is only able to admit individuals who have scheduled appointments. Individuals who cannot schedule an appointment online but think they have qualifying reasons for an expedited appointment request, should contact us at CONSLAO@state.gov. Failure to obtain an appointment and to arrive on time may result in being denied entry. If you are not feeling well on the day of your appointment, please reschedule.
Presidential Proclamations Suspending Entry of Certain Foreign Nationals
President Trump has signed several proclamations suspending entry into the United States of foreign nationals physically present in certain countries within the 14 days preceding entry or attempted entry into the United States.
U.S. citizens are not subject to the proclamations. All proclamations also provide exceptions to the restrictions for lawful permanent residents of the United States. There are other exceptions to the proclamations as well. You can find more information on the State Department’s website.
You may be screened when you arrive in the United States. Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest health recommendations for travelers returning to the United States. For more information, please see the following websites:
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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