Laos Smaller Border Crossings To Stop Issuing Visa-on-arrival?

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by DavidFL, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    A disturbing report from Laos via

    Nine Border Checkpoints to Discontinue Visa On Arrival Services - The Laotian Times

    Nine Border Checkpoints to Discontinue Visa On Arrival Services

    According to a notice issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday, nine of Laos’s border checkpoints will discontinue providing visa on arrival services to tourists.

    The notice orders the closure of visa on arrival units at nine border checkpoints:
    – Pang Hok (Phongsaly Province) bordering China
    – Nam Soy (Huaphanh Province) bordering Vietnam
    – Nam Kan (Xieng Khouang Province) bordering Vietnam
    – Nam Ngeun (Xayaboury Province) bordering Thailand
    – Nam Heuang (Xayaboury Province) bordering Thailand
    – Nam Phao (Khammouane Province) bordering Vietnam
    – Na Phao (Khammouane Province) bordering Vietnam
    – Savannakhet International Airport
    – Phou Keua (Attapeu Province) bordering Vietnam

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been tasked with coordinating the closure of the visa units and is to ensure that no disruptions are caused at border checkpoints.
    Laos launched an e-visa service earlier this year, but so far this is only available for use at three checkpoints; Wattay International Airport, The First Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, and Luang Prabang International Airport.​

    Amazing Laos, building new roads from Thailand / Vietnam, opening up new border crossings & then stopping visa on arrival. Duh!
    I can understand that at some of the smaller border crossings, it can hardly be affordable to employ Foreign Affairs staff to issue visas, because the volume will be so small.

    But what about some of the other crossings....?
    Muang Ngern / Nam Neun to Huay Kon in Thailand.
    Nam Heuang (Khentao?) to Tha Li in Thailand.

    Good ol Sayaboury province on the front line, killing tourism again for international travellers from Thailand.
    What was the Huay / Kon / Muang Ngern road to Luang Prabang built for?

    It probably won't affect ASEAN passport holders with one month visa free on arrival? But for everyone else a serious backwards step!

    There is no commencement date, so it may not yet happen; but absolutely what are they thinking?

    If it really does happen, it is a serious step backwards & a shot in both feet.

    Please don't do this!

    Come guys you're going backwards, not facilitating entry.
     
  2. Dodraugen

    Dodraugen Ol'Timer

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    Not good news at all...
     
  3. Eoin Christie

    Eoin Christie Ol'Timer

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    I think that parts of Laos / Laos bureaucracy do not yet see international tourism as an important revenue stream, hence it may be viewed administratively more as a problem than a solution.
    That doesn’t make it better, or justify it, but many Countries have not yet crossed that ‘threshold’, and may go through phases of one-step-forwards-two-steps-back.
    Logic seldom has a role to play in this, particularly when provincial and federal authorities are not aligned.
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Some stats for foreign (non regional) entries at the border crossings involved.

    2018 Statistics

    Nam Phao: 5,931
    Na Phao: 2,678
    Nam Souy: 1,437
    Pang Hok: 7,299
    Phou Keua: 3,112
    Nam Kanh: 2,212
    Nam Ngeun: 2,340
    Nam Heuang: 1,964

    2,340 people entered Laos at Nam Neun from Huay Kon Thailand.
    1,964 people entered Laos at Nam Heung (Kenthao) from Nakraseng (Tha Li) Thailand.
     
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  5. Jawnee

    Jawnee Member

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    I wonder if these border crossings that will no longer issue visas on arrival, will accept the e-visa, whenever that is implemented.
     
  6. Eoin Christie

    Eoin Christie Ol'Timer

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    It’s already implemented but, as David notes, is only accepted at 3 entry points.
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Latest info is that the no Visa on Arrival VoA policy starts at the end of the year.
    1 January 2020 is the first day of no VoA at the 9 border crossings listed.
     
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Information to hand suggests that Visa on Arrival are still being issued at Muang Neun.
     

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