Laos visa eligibility & visa on arrival at Huay Xai immigration

Many tourists come to Chiang Mai in Thailand, travel up to Chiang Rai and then on to Chiang Khong to enter Laos at the Huay Xai Immigration checkpoint across the Mekong River from Chiang Khong. After you have passed through Thai Immigration in Chiang Khong you are in No Man’s Land to get a bus across the bridge to Huay Xai Immigration. (Hours 0600 – 2200). When the bus arrives at Huay Xai Immigration you’ll need to fill out a Lao Immigration form complete with photo for a Laos visa, complete an arrival/departure card and get an entry stamp in your passport.Most tourists to Laos will need a visa before they can enter the country. You can stay for a fixed number of days on a tourist visa depending on your nationality. There are 3 visa categories of a Lao Tourist Visa eligibility.

  1. Visa free is limited to 15 countries as at 2024:   Brunei (14 days);  Cambodia (30 days);  Indonesia (30 days);  Japan (15 days);  Luxembourg (15 days);  Malaysia (30 days);  Mongolia (30 days);  Myanmar (14 days)
  2.  

  3. Laos Visa on arrival (VOA)
  4. Visa required before you travel

 

 

 

This Laos Visa application is the preferred form when applying for a visa on arrival at Huay Xai Immigration. There are several other versions of this form online (without the Huay Xai Immigration Office red stamp), but this Laos immigration visa form for Huay Xai is specific for that entry point.

By downloading and completing it now you can avoid the crush and queues when everyone rushes off the bus and jostles to get a form too complete. You can download the pdf here Lao-immigration-visa-entry-form 150×260 and print it out in colour.

Please note it must be trimmed to 150 W x 260 H mm which is it’s correct size otherwise it may be rejected.

 

Mekong river ferry under mackerel sky

 

Mekong River ferry under a mackerel sky a sure sign fine weather is on the way

Download this visa form before you depart, as early in the morning many people are applying and a 45 to 90 minute wait at Lao Immigration is not uncommon, if several buses all arrive at once. Print this off, complete and trim it, stick your photo on it and you’ll get a head start to the top of the queue.

It can be very confusing on arrival there as there are few signs with often 60 or so people milling about wondering what they have to do.

Make sure you have your Laos visa form (with your photo attached) and arrival card completed and then queue at the right hand counter No 1.

 

The officer will then take your papers and passport. Move over near counter No 2 and wait in the left hand queue under the Visa Fee sign for your name to be called. When you are called approach the window, pay your visa fee and your passport will be returned. CHECK THAT IT IS YOUR PASSPORT as it is not uncommon to receive someone else’s in the confusion. You can then exit through Customs where tuk tuks will be waiting to take you into town or to the port.

 

You’ll receive a Lao visa on arrival glued into your passport which looks likes this, along with an immigration date stamp. Check that the entry and exit dates are correct.

 

Laos passport visa

 

Laos passport visa on arrival

Once you have cleared Immigration & Customs, if you are on a Mekong Kayaks VIP private river cruise your guide will meet you as you exit Immigration.

If you are catching a public boat to meet your guide at Ban Lad Khammune, take a tuk-tuk to the port at Huay Xai (about 12kms away) and look for the public ferry ticket office. You can find it at GPS coords 20.285366 100.407164. Tuk tuk cost is about 200 Bt (~US$7)

 

A Lao visa on arrival (VOA) can be obtained for many nationalities at international Laos immigration check points. Visa costs vary depending on your nationality but typically US$30 to $50. Make sure you pay in US$ cash. Try and have the exact amount otherwise you will get your change at a poor exchange rate in Lao kip. If paying in Thai Baht it will cost you a lot more. There may be additional charges if immigration is working on a weekend or after hours.

For a VOA tourists must possess a valid passport (with a minimum of 2 blank pages and 6 months remaining) and are responsible for ensuring that they qualify for a Lao VOA prior to their departure to Laos, as not all nationalities can obtain a VOA. You’ll also need a recent, passport sized photo and a VOA form. See here

To see if you qualify for a VOA check here https://embassies.net/laos-visa-exemption

Most tourists to Laos will need a visa before they can enter the country. You can stay for a fixed number of days on a tourist visa depending on your nationality. There are 3 visa categories of a Lao Tourist Visa eligibility.

  1. Visa free is limited to 15 countries as at 2024:   Brunei (14 days);  Cambodia (30 days);  Indonesia (30 days);  Japan (15 days);  Luxembourg (15 days);  Malaysia (30 days);  Mongolia (30 days);  Myanmar (14 days)
  2. Laos Visa on arrival (VOA)
  3. Visa required before you travel

A Lao visa on arrival (VOA) can be obtained for many nationalities at international Laos immigration check points. Visa costs vary depending on your nationality but typically US$30 to $50. Make sure you pay in US$ cash. Try and have the exact amount otherwise you will get your change at a poor exchange rate in Lao kip. If paying in Thai Baht it will cost you a lot more. There may be additional charges if immigration is working on a weekend or after hours.

For a VOA tourists must possess a valid passport (with a minimum of 2 blank pages and 6 months remaining) and are responsible for ensuring that they qualify for a Lao VOA prior to their departure to Laos, as not all nationalities can obtain a VOA. You’ll also need a recent, passport sized photo and a VOA form. See here

To see if you qualify for a VOA check here https://embassies.net/laos-visa-exemption

Laos visa immigration form for Huay Xai

To enter Huay Xai Immigration in Laos across the Mekong River from Chiang Khong in Thailand, you’ll be exiting Chiang Khong Immigration in Thailand. After you have passed through Thai Immigration in Chiang Khong you are in No Man’s Land. All tourists must catch a bus across the bridge to Huay Xai Immigration (Hours 0600 – 2200) on the other side of the Mekong River in Laos, where you’ll need to fill out an Immigration form complete with photo for a Laos visa, complete an arrival/departure card and get an entry stamp in your passport.

This Laos Visa application is the preferred form when applying for a visa on arrival at Huay Xai Immigration. There are several other versions of this form online (without the Huay Xai Immigration Office red stamp), but this Laos immigration visa form for Huay Xai is specific for that entry point.

By downloading and completing it now you can avoid the crush and queues when everyone rushes off the bus and jostles to get a form too complete. You can download the pdf here Lao-immigration-visa-entry-form 150×260 and print it out in colour.

Please note it must be trimmed to 150 W x 260 H mm which is it’s correct size otherwise it may be rejected.

 

Mekong river ferry under mackerel sky

 

Mekong River ferry under a mackerel sky a sure sign fine weather is on the way

Download this visa form before you depart, as early in the morning many people are applying and a 45 to 90 minute wait at Lao Immigration is not uncommon, if several buses all arrive at once. Print this off, complete and trim it, stick your photo on it and you’ll get a head start to the top of the queue.

It can be very confusing on arrival there as there are few signs with often 60 or so people milling about wondering what they have to do.

Make sure you have your Laos visa form (with your photo attached) and arrival card completed and then queue at the right hand counter No 1.

 

The officer will then take your papers and passport. Move over near counter No 2 and wait in the left hand queue under the Visa Fee sign for your name to be called. When you are called approach the window, pay your visa fee and your passport will be returned. CHECK THAT IT IS YOUR PASSPORT as it is not uncommon to receive someone else’s in the confusion. You can then exit through Customs where tuk tuks will be waiting to take you into town or to the port.

 

You’ll receive a Lao visa on arrival glued into your passport which looks likes this, along with an immigration date stamp. Check that the entry and exit dates are correct.

 

Laos passport visa

 

Laos passport visa on arrival

Once you have cleared Immigration & Customs, if you are on a Mekong Kayaks VIP private river cruise your guide will meet you as you exit Immigration.

If you are catching a public boat to meet your guide at Ban Lad Khammune, take a tuk-tuk to the port at Huay Xai (about 12kms away) and look for the public ferry ticket office. You can find it at GPS coords 20.285366 100.407164. Tuk tuk cost is about 200 Bt (~US$7)