Visa for Foreign Workers in Laos


The Lao government has recently opened centres across the country to issue temporary work visas for illegal foreign workers. This is in response to provincial authorities’ measures to check on foreign workers and foreign-owned businesses to ensure that such activities comply with Lao laws and regulations.

Vientiane Times recently reported that the Attapeu province is taking steps to tackle the problems surrounding registration of foreign workers and foreigners who run businesses illegally (Vientiane Times, 9 October 2017), and that Oudomxay provincial authorities are registering illegal foreign workers and issuing them with temporary work permits (Vientiane Times, 12 October 2017).

Labour Visa requirements in Laos:

Foreigners working in Lao PDR must obtain a Labour Visa (LA-B2), on either a single-entry or multiple-entry basis.  With this Labour Visa, foreigners can stay in Lao PDR for a period of either 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year (renewable). A Labour Visa currently cannot be obtained via the online system, but may be secured upon arrival (provided a pre-approval for the issuance of a visa is obtained prior to arrival).

Following their entry into Lao PDR on a Visa on Arrival, the individual should apply for their Work Permit and Stay Permit (and potentially a long-stay Labour Visa, depending on the duration of stay).

The Lao Labour authorities consider employment of foreign employees for a period of less than 3 months as short term work. A short-term Labour Visa is generally issued for such purposes. Following an employee’s entry into Laos on the short-term Labour Visa, such employees will still need to secure a Work Permit and Stay Permit.

The foreign employee may include the following dependent family members in the Labour Visa and Stay Permit application:

  • Legal spouse
  • Children (regardless of age)
  • Parents (on a case-by-case basis)

If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact Aristotle David, Khamphaeng Phochanthilath or the ZICO Law Partner you usually deal with.

This alert is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.