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.
Tourists must possess a valid passport (with a minimum of 6 months remaining) and are responsible for ensuring that they qualify for a Lao VOA prior to departure for Laos, as not all nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival.
To see if you qualify for a VOA check here http://www.tourismlaos.org/show.php?Cont_ID=348 You’ll need a recent, passport sized photo
To enter Huay Xai Immigration in Laos 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.
Please note it must be trimmed to 150 W x 260 H mm which is it’s correct size otherwise it may be rejected.
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.
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)