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Laos forum

Laos visa and passport validity

Posted by bakpakk on 17/4/2010 at 13:20

Hey guys, quick question. Can you get into Laos with a valid visa even if your passport is not valid for 6 months? Laos is going to be my last stop during my summer trip (I hope) and by then my passport will be valid for 5 months not 6. I am thinking of getting a laos visa @ their embassy at my home country before traveling to SE Asia over the summer. My passport is still valid for 8 months now so I can definitely get a Laos visa at my home country but I don't want to get it if I won't be able to get into Laos because of the 6 months validity rule. I would appreciate some help.

Best regards,

#1 bakpakk has been a member since 4/4/2010. Location: Cameroon. Posts: 38

Posted by mikethediver on 19/4/2010 at 16:46

Well done on making your passport last to it's expiry date, mine is normally full of stamps after half the time!

Personally, I wont chance it. You don't say where you are traveling from as other countries, i.e. Thailand, also have a 6 month passport rule, so unless you are flying home from Laos, it is possible you may have a problem getting back into Thailand, if that is what you are planning on.

What's the problem with renewing your passport 8 months earlier? If it is a UK passport your new passport will be valid for an extra 6 months (the maximum they give).
Have a good trip,

#2 mikethediver has been a member since 23/3/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 206
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Posted by bakpakk on 20/4/2010 at 03:29

@ mikethediver
thanks for the heads up. I definitely need to get back into Thailand after visiting Laos so, as you said, it wouldn't make much of a difference. I've just decided to visit Laos and other neighboring countries before my passport is no longer valid for 6 months. I arrive May 28th so I till June 27th to visit Cambodia and Laos. I can definitely make it happen.

I am from Cameroon and we don't renew our passports until they are 6 months away from expiration. I leave for Thailand in May so I can't have it renewed because I still have 8 months left till expiration.

Thanks for the reply. Very much appreciated.

#3 bakpakk has been a member since 4/4/2010. Location: Cameroon. Posts: 38

Posted by christay2009 on 21/4/2010 at 03:31

If there is a Lao embassy in your country...why don't you just ask them?

#4 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: China. Posts: 415
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Posted by bakpakk on 21/4/2010 at 03:50

I tried...on multiple occassions...on a daily basis...voicemail...that's why I came here :-)

#5 bakpakk has been a member since 4/4/2010. Location: Cameroon. Posts: 38

Posted by Rufus on 22/4/2010 at 07:28

If you have a visa you will be allowed in.

#6 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 978
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Posted by Captain_Bob on 24/4/2010 at 12:55

You're asking a bunch of travellers and expats if your passport will be honored when it has less than 6 months validity. Sure we can give your advice based on experience, and I'd agree if you already have a Laos visa in it you should be fine. But if they say no it would suck. Personally I'd be re-newing your passport before your trip even begins. Tell them you're travel plans don't allow you to wait until it's down to 6 mo. Or risk it - your choice.

#7 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,951

Posted by navpal on 7/10/2011 at 08:14

I'd love to hear some experience about this. From my VERY recent experience, the rules are stated much more broadly than they actually are or as they are applied.

I only ask because I find myself in Thailand with a US passport with just under 4 months left on it and would obviously like to travel to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos without any issue. My sense is that Laos may be the only troublesome point, but that is based on various posts and the guidance from official sources (i.e. not much). I would love to go Laos but not if it means wasting too much time in SEA trying to get my passport renewed.

To share my experience so far with this issue, yesterday evening I was given significant hassle by the check-in staff of AirAsia in Delhi who simply looked at my passport and said I could not board. After a lot of back and forth and a call to a higher up, the staff was informed the 6 mo. rule for Thailand does not apply to US passports and I was let through. I was worried for a bit that I might get rejected in Bangkok before leaving Delhi, but a woman at the Thai Airways desk said with tremendous confidence that there was zero chance I would not get in. She also said that similar problems have arisen with AirAsia (as I now see with other posts) and that was not their policy. When I arrived, immigration in BKK looked at my passport and let me in in no more than 30 seconds. It seemed pretty clear he checked the expiration date.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but hoping my details might help someone in the future who similarly finds themselves in a tight spot. And I would still love to hear about Laos. Will probably head to some travel agencies today and then maybe the embassy if I still have doubts. Happy traveling all!

#8 navpal has been a member since 7/10/2011. Posts: 1

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