Tourist visa to Laos in Hanoi
A valid tourist visa is required to enter Laos. Are you planning to travel to Laos? Are you already in SE Asia and don't know where to get such visa? Read on.
The tourist visa "Upon Arrival" can be issued on most road crossings and at international airports (check the updated list in advance). At the airport, there shouldn't be any problems. All you need to do is filling out the application, attaching a passport photo, paying a fee. Your visa will take just a few minutes to process. However, if you decide to cross the border on a less frequent road crossing, it is always a good idea to obtain the visa in advance - and avoid delays caused by customs officials, avoid fraud (bribes, double paying for a visa, etc.) and reduce the likelihood of visa issuance refusal at the border.
We decided to get the visa in advance in Hanoi and later on the border crossing went smoothly.
If you are applying for a visa in Hanoi, please visit the Consulate-General of the Lao Embassy personally at 40 Quang Trung Street, Hanoi, during office hours Mon-Fri 8:30 - 11:30 AM, 1:30 - 4:30 PM. Fill out your application, attach one passport photo and your passport. The visa processing will take up to 3 business days. If you are requesting the Express handling till the next day, you will pay 5 USD extra. We waited for 2 days. On Tuesday afternoon we submitted the request, and on Thursday afternoon we picked up the visa. Everything is done without complications, the staff of the consulate is nice, filling out the application itself takes about 5 minutes, and no one asks you any further questions.
The best for last. For such visa (standard handling time), you will pay 20 USD, compared to 30 USD at the border. If you do not have cash in USD, they accept VND at 22,000 VND for 1 USD. You can check the visa fee list by country on the Lao Embassy site (http://www.laoembassyhanoi.org.vn/) under the "Visa Fees" link.