Message for U.S. Citizens: Safety and Security during Lao New Year

Safety and Security during Lao New Year 


The Government of Laos has instituted checkpoints on many roads in Vientiane during the New Year (Pi Mai) holiday, and these travel restrictions will remain in place until May 3 by order of the Prime Minister.   The Embassy urges private U.S. Citizens to comply with law enforcement officers administering these checkpoints; if you are asked to turn around, please do so.  Please keep in mind these checkpoints are in place not only in order to control the spread of COVID-19 but also to ensure safety on roads at a time when alcohol consumption is traditionally higher than normal.  If at all possible, and in the interests of your health and safety, the Embassy advises U.S. Citizens to stay at home during the Pi Mai holiday to the degree possible

Departure of Special Chartered Flight on April 12


The special chartered flight arranged by the U.S. Department of State departed Vientiane on April 12.  The Embassy is not aware of any remaining option available to U.S. Citizens for leaving Laos via commercial means.  The Embassy will not be arranging another chartered flight. 


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

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