Important Note: The Secretary of State has authorized the lifting of most sanctions on U.S. visa issuance to Lao citizens. The sanctions were imposed under U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section 243(d).

As a result, the majority of Lao citizens who have applied or will apply for nonimmigrant and immigrant visas to the United States will no longer be subject to INA 243(d) visa sanctions.

Sanctions remain in place for certain senior officials of the Lao PDR government, pending further cooperation with the United States with respect to accepting Lao PDR nationals designated for removal from the United States.

We look forward to further cooperation with the Lao PDR government on expediting the removal of Lao PDR nationals under deportation orders from the United States, as is standard under international law.

Please be informed that routine visa appointments will remain very limited in the near term as the Consular Section processes visa applications that were previously suspended under INA 243(d) and continues to comply with current Lao PDR pandemic regulations and COVID-19 social distancing protocol. We thank you in advance for your patience.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on routine visa services, the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee (aka the fee to schedule an interview) validity is extended until September 30, 2023, for individuals who paid an MRV fee but were unable to schedule and/or attend an interview during the suspension of services. If you have an urgent matter and require a nonimmigrant visa to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided here to request an emergency appointment.

If you have questions, you can contact the U.S. Embassy Vientiane Consular Section at

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).

To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page for full information or use contact information below:

Call Center representatives will be available: Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00p.m. (excluding holidays)

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.