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Foreigners To Become Permanent Residents In Laos

As many foreigners and People of Lao origin living abroad have expressed an interest in living in Laos permanently, the Lao Government is to introduce in the very near future a new decree outlining permanent residency requirements for foreigners.

People of Lao origin living abroad, as well as foreign nationals, can apply for permanent residency in Laos once the new decree is approved by the government.

The new draft decree will cover two groups of people – people of Lao origin living abroad and foreign nationals, including stateless people. The aim of the decree is to encourage people of Lao origin living abroad to return to their homeland and contribute to national development in their birthplace. The new decree also aims to respond to the requests of people of Lao origin living abroad who want to return home and spend the rest of their lives in Laos. The draft decree also stipulates seven conditions for foreign nationals or stateless people seeking permanent residency in Laos.

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Permanent Residency Laos
Pany Yathortou, (l), president of the Lao National Assembly, President Choummaly Sayasone, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong (r)

Candidates must have lived in Laos for 10 continuous years and must commit to living in Laos for at least 10 months each year. Specialists and scientists can also apply for permanent residency.

People who have operated a stable business in Laos for at least five years with an investment value of at least US$500,000 can also apply for permanent residency. A person who does a good deed to aid the nation’s development can also apply for permanent residency.

Everyone living in Laos must respect the laws and constitution of the country and its traditional culture and social order, as well as pay taxes to the government based on the relevant laws and contribute to maintaining security.

People granted permanent residency will no longer need a visa to visit Laos. They will also have the right to buy goods such as cars, but not the right to buy land as a decree on the matter is still being drafted.

One important requirement for permanent residency is the presence of a relative in Laos willing to act as a guarantor for the applicant, who must also be in good health and have no criminal record.

If the decree is approved, people of Lao origin living abroad can submit an application for permanent residency at the Lao Embassy or Consul General Office in the country where they live. The application will then be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the relevant authorities for consideration within 3 months.


Source: Vientiane Times