Source: Vientiane Times
The government has promulgated a new regulation that offers multiple-entry visas with longer stays for people of Lao origin those who hold another crtizenship and are residents in other countries.
Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh recently signed government decree No. 475 on visa issuance and stay duration in Laos for people of Lao origin who now live abroad.
The seven-page decree permits those in the target group to apply for a single-entry or multiple-entry visa.
The multiple-entry visa is valid for a maximum of 24 months while a single-entry visa is valid for up to 60 days, according to Article 7 of the decree.
Each entry permits the holder of a multiple-entry visa to remain in Laos for up to 90 days. However, two extensions can be given, for a maximum of 90 days each, so long as a Lao national, entity or recognised organisation can act as a guarantor.
Meanwhile, the holder of a single-entry visa is permitted to stay in Laos for a maximum of 90 days, with one 90-day extension.
The new policy will facilitate the entry, exit and stay in Laos of people of Lao origin living abroad who have taken citizenship of another country, along with other family members.
Lao diplomatic missions in other countries will issue single-entry visas, while multiple-entry visas will be issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
To apply for a visa, applicants must submit an application form, passport or travel document used in place of a passport, and related documents as required by the ministry to a Lao diplomatic mission abroad.
Lao diplomatic missions are mandated to consider the request and issue a single-entry visa in line with the regulations.
The documents submitted will then be passed by the Lao diplomatic mission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If approval is granted, the ministry will permit the Lao diplomatic mission to issue a multiple-entry visa.
The new policy will continue to allow people to apply for a single-entry visa on arrival at international border crossings where this service is available.
People who are already in Laos and wish to apply for a multiple-entry visa can do so by submitting the relevant documents directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The relevant details and procedures regarding application for and issuing of single-entry and multiple-entry visas are spelled out in a separate regulation.
The decree also outlines the procedures to be followed if a person whose passport has been lost or damaged wishes to re-apply for a multiple-entry visa.