Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the notification of lockdown by the Vientiane City Mayor’s Office, the United States Embassy in Vientiane, Laos has temporarily suspended all routine visa services. Given the uncertain circumstances in Laos related to the current outbreak, the Embassy cannot provide a specific date when routine visa services will resume. Once services resume and before scheduling a visa appointment, all Lao citizens and nationals applying in Laos should read further information regarding discontinuation of visa issuance to Lao nationals here. While the Embassy aims to process cases as soon as practicable, there may be increased wait times due to substantial backlogs. The MRV fee is valid and may be used to schedule an interview appointment in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided here to request an emergency appointment. Please read more information about multiple Presidential Proclamations here; you are encouraged to consider your eligibility for a visa before you make any payments as applicants do not receive refunds for refused visas.
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, 2022 for individuals who paid an MRV fee but were unable to schedule and/or attend an interview during the suspension of services.
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.
Entry of non-LPR foreign nationals who were present in the People’s Republic of China, not including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, the Islamic Republic of Iran, or the 26 countries that comprise the Schengen Zone within 14 days prior to their arrival at the port of entry in the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamation. If you reside in, have traveled recently to, or intend to transit or travel to China, Iran, or the Schengen Zone (which includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) prior to your planned trip to the United States, we recommend you postpone your visa interview appointment until 14 days subsequent to your departure from the subject country(ies).
What is a Visa?
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:
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: 856 21 255 500 (local); +1 703 665 7347 (from U.S)
Call Center representatives will be available: Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00p.m. (excluding holidays)
Customer Service Statement
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 https://travel.state.gov.
- 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.