Lao Vise Fees, a Reduction for Some Folks

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by mactbkk, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. mactbkk

    mactbkk Ol'Timer

    Hey, I qualify, more kip for Beer Lao!
    Need to keep tracking this story for implementation sometime in the never-never.


    20 February 2009

    Laos to waive visa fees for over 65s

    The government has agreed to waive visa fees for elderly and young foreigners entering the country, as part of efforts to promote tourism.

    The Ministry of Finance's Taxation Department Director General, Ms Manivone Insisiengmay, said yesterday the waiver would apply to foreigners aged over 65 and under 15.

    A new presidential decree on state service fee collection has authorised the change in policy.

    According to the Ministry of Finance, President Choummaly Sayasone signed the revised presidential decree No. 03 last November. The previous decree on state service fee collection came into effect in 2002.

    Ms Manivone said the department was drafting an order to inform the sectors concerned, including the ministries of Public Security and Foreign Affairs, to enforce the new decree, saying it would take a while to put the decree into practice.

    “We will enforce the decree within this year,” she told Vientiane Times.
    She said the government considered the visa fee waivers an attempt to reduce the financial burden on people in these age groups, pointing out that neither elderly people nor young people earned an income.

    “Most people over 65 are retired so they do not make any money,” she said.
    A senior official at the Consular Department said the department had received the decree and would hold discussions with the sectors concerned, including officials issuing visas at international checkpoints and Lao embassies to make sure they were all ready to enforce the decree.

    He was unable to say when the decree would be put into practice.
    Immigration Department officials said they were already providing free visa extensions to people aged over 65 in accordance with the new decree. But the department will continue to fine those do not extend their visa, at the rate of US$2 a day.

    According to the Consular Department, visas issued on arrival in Laos cost from US$30 to US$42 depending on a tourist's nationality.

    Visas are not required for nationals of Japan , South Korea , Russia and most Asean countries. The government is planning to charge an additional tourist fee next month. Passport holders will be required to pay US$2, while those who enter the country on a border pass will pay only US$1.

    Lao National Tourism Authority Vice President, Mr Sila Mounthalavong, said the government's decision to waive visa fees for older people was a good idea, because it would encourage more people in this age group to visit Laos .

    While this age group is mostly retired, he said, they like to stay in top-end accommodation.

    “These people have a lot of money and like to stay in luxury hotels.”
    The government wanted to encourage elderly people to visit Laos , as this would benefit people of many kinds, ranging from taxi drivers to food sellers.
    Most visitors to Laos were in their 30s, Mr Sila said.

    By Ekaphone Phouthonesy
    (Latest Update February 20, 2009)
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  3. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer


    I didn't know you were so young Mac. Under 15 you shouldn't be drinking that Beer Lao yet! :lol:

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