Thai Visa Restrictions Cause Difficulties for Foreigners in Laos
The Thai visa restriction is creating difficulties for many foreigners living in Laos, who rely on medical and commercial services across the border.
As a reminder, here’s what has been issued by the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane stipulates the following three points:
“1. From 1 December 2016 – 28 February 2017, foreigners of all nationalities could submit application for a Single Entry (60 days) Tourist Visa to Thailand without visa fee at the Consular Section of the Royal Thai Embassy.
2. Foreigners who work or reside permanently in the Lao PDR are eligble for applying for the Multiple Entries Tourist Visa (METV) to Thailand. METV costs 5,000 baht, valid for 6 months and foreigners would be able to stay in Thailand up to 60 days per journey. Rules and regulations apply.
3. For those nationalities that are currently under the the 30 day visa waiving scheme, 2 journeys to Thailand per calendar year would be granted under the scheme through any international land boundary checkpoint to Thailand. Please inquire with immigration officers at the checkpoint for further information.”
The Thai Consulate in Vientiane confirmed to J&C Services that the Visa restrictions do not apply for Lao and Malaysian citizens. They could not provide any information on Vietnamese or Philippines nationals.
How To Apply For 6-Month Multiple Entry Thai Visa
The Thai Consulate in Vientiane confirms that foreigners who work or reside permanently in the Lao PDR are eligble for applying for the Multiple Entries Tourist Visa (METV) to Thailand.
Requesting an Appointment
as from 1st February you will need to schedule an appointment online:
Once you received your appointment, print out the appointment confirmation with your queue number and bring it along with the necessary supporting documents to the Visa section of the Embassy.
- walk-in applications won’t be accepted
- you can schedule an appointment up to one month in advance
- you can cancel your appointment no less than 24 hours prior to the existing appointment
- No-show will prevent you from scheduling another appointment for one month
- Arrive 30 minutes before your appointment
These are the documents required:
- Applicant’s passport with at least 6 months validity
- Copy of applicants passport
- Copy passport of the page with the last entry stamp to Laos
- Two 3.5 x 4.5 cm photographs of the applicant. The photographs’ background must be in white color.
- Fill in the embassy’s visa application form. Visa application form can be downloaded here
- Copy of applicant’s Lao business visa, stay and work permit.
- Confirmation of employment letter issued by the applicant’s employer in Laos.
- Statement of the applicant’s bank account with at least Baht 200’000 or equivalent in major currencies.
- For families:
- one application form for each member
- each member will get a visa
- all family members must be present when applying
- no family discount, Baht 5’000 per visa
- bank account with at least Baht 200’000 or equivalent in major currencies is accepted (covering entire family)
- For married couples: bank account with at least Baht 200’000 or equivalent in major currencies is accepted (covering both), provide copy of marriage certificate
- Bank accounts in Kip are accepted
- Bank accounts should be located in Laos (in some cases worldwide with easy withdrawal access has been accepted)
- Statements printed from Internet-banking are evaluated on case to case base, provide good and clear copies.
- the 6 month multi entry visa will be issued until the date of the applicant’s stay permit in Laos. For example, applicant’s with only 3 months left will get 3 month multi entry visa, the visa fee remains unchanged at THB 5’000
- Clearly mark on the visa application form that you want a 6-Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa, otherwise you may end up getting a single-entry tourist visa.
- The Thai Consulate insists on the applicant providing a contact address in Thailand, for Expats living in Laos you may write “Central Plaza Shopping, 277 / 1-3 Prajak Sillapakom, Udon Thani”, which was accepted in our case. 🙂
How to submit the visa application:
- Request online an appoinment (see above)
- Visa applicant are required to present themselves at the Thai Consular Section (map / location).
- Passport with visa is distributed only in the afternoon on the next working day from 01.30 p.m. – 04.00 p.m.
- Visa fee is paid on the day of receiving the visa.
- Visa fee can be paid only in Thai Baht (Baht 5’000 for the METV)
- If the passport is not collected on appointed time, the visa will be cancelled.
- Choose clothing that’s respectful of the local culture