I live in Mukdahan, where I am teaching salsa. I would like to expand from here and teach in Savankhet as well. Does anyone know if getting a visa to cross into Laos for a prolonged period is possible and how to do it if it is possible? Access to Savanakhet would double the number of potential dancers for me.
It sounds like the Lao Embassy in Bangkok would be your best source of info. Here is a bit of info I pulled from their website. You might even stop by the Lao MFA when you are visiting Vientiane.
Visa authorization is arranged by sponsor in Laos and the Embassy can not process visas until it receives authorization or approval from the authorities concerned in Laos.
One month for stay (can be extended until completion of your business term).
Business visas (B2) Business visas are issued to foreign experts and their performing assignments under projects provided by loan agreements and as provided by employment contracts or project wards, to experts and volunteers of Non-Governmental Agencies, experts in education and medical sciences generating income for an agency, staff members of Diplomatic Missions, General Consulates, the United Nations Agencies and other international organizations holding normal passports from the countries or from third countries, as well as foreign businesspersons.
Multiple entry visa:
available only from the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR.
Business visas (B2) are subject to the payment of mandatory visa and service fees. Multiple entry visas may be obtained for a period of six (6) months and may be renewed every six (6) months until completion of assignments.
I suspect it would be easier for the salsa students to make their way across the river to you rather than the other way around, since I imagine that the costs of the visa will make it hard to even break even. Then again, I imagine you aren't doing this for the money but rather for the love of the dance. Cheers.
Mac, you can only get a business visa if your employer sponsors you for a job.
There is another possibility - get a "fixer" in Laos to arrange a business visa for you. This will be quite expensive, about $600 or so. Can't Carol sponsor a business visa for you?
Carol can, but I am not up for 600 dollars to get it. I'm willing to break even, or even lose a little money. But this would be three or four hundred in the hole for sure. I've got a friend in Savanakhet who owns a bar there, and he's up for it. But again, it's a question of moving back and forth. He has another friend with a boat, and he wants to just pick me up and drive me over - but it's not worth the risk of getting caught.