Immigrant Visas

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 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

Immigrant visas to the United States are processed for citizens and residents of Laos at the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane.

To apply for an immigrant visa, a foreign citizen seeking to immigrate generally must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident immediate relative(s), or prospective U.S. employer, and have an approved petition before applying for an immigrant visa. The sponsor begins the process by filing a petition on the foreign citizen’s behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  You may wish to review our Directory of Visa Categories on to learn about the different types of immigrant visas to the United States, including our Diversity Visa Program.  Then, follow the steps on the Immigrant Visa Process, or on the Diversity Visa Process, on to begin applying for an immigrant visa.

Once USCIS has approved your petition and you have completed pre-processing with the National Visa Center (NVC), or if you have been selected in the Diversity Visa Lottery and completed processing with the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC), review the instructions given to you by the NVC or the KCC, along with the information presented on this website, for further guidance and instructions.

Immigrant Visas