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Work Permit in Laos

Is a Work Permit Needed in Laos?

In Laos, the necessity for a work permit for foreign nationals is driven by specific economic and labor market conditions unique to the country. The government prioritizes the protection of employment opportunities for Lao citizens, particularly given the high level of youth unemployment and the need to bolster local job markets. By requiring work permits, the government ensures that foreign workers are employed in roles that genuinely lack local expertise, thus preserving jobs for Lao nationals.

The work permit system is also integral to Laos’s economic development strategy. The country is keen on diversifying its economy beyond traditional sectors like agriculture and mining to include areas such as tourism, manufacturing, and services. By attracting skilled foreign professionals, Laos aims to fill critical skill gaps, drive innovation, and promote sustainable economic growth. This approach is essential for enhancing productivity and fostering development across various industries.

Moreover, compliance with labor laws and standards is a cornerstone of the work permit system in Laos. The government uses this process to ensure that foreign workers are employed under conditions that meet Lao labor regulations, including fair wages, safe working environments, and access to social security benefits. This enforcement is vital in preventing exploitation and abuse, ensuring fair treatment for all workers in the country.

Security considerations are another critical aspect of the work permit requirement. The government conducts thorough background checks and verification of qualifications to ensure that foreign workers do not pose security risks and possess the necessary skills and credentials. This diligence helps maintain the integrity of the Lao workforce and ensures that foreign workers contribute positively to the nation’s economy and society.

About the Laos Job Market

Mentioned below are some of the vital information about the Laos job market:

618cd2b4720888af3dbabded Laos

Number of Expats:

No data available

Expats Job Websites:

Popular Industries for Expats:

Gold industry, wood products, coffee and spices industry, crops and rice, finance, retail. Etc.

Types of Laos Work Visa

Laos work permits are availed by people who want to visit or travel to Las for employment and other professional reasons. The type of visas will also depend on the nature and the duration of the work.

Listed below are some of the types of Laos work visas that can be obtained for working in Laos:

Expert Visa (E-B2)

‍These visas are required by foreign professionals employed in international and non-government organizations in Laos. Experts here refer to the people who have been serving the government and are posted at high levels in the system.

Investor Visa (NI-B2)

‍People apply for these visas if they belong to a foreign nation and are interested in investing in a registered company in Laos. They usually have an investment license or a company registration document for the record.
People can also apply for a multi-entry investor visa for three months to 1 year, depending on their requirement. Along with the investor visa, the Stay permit is also essential for multiple visits to Laos. To obtain a multiple entry visa and an SP, the applicant must provide a copy of the NI-B2 Visa and investment-related documentation and a passport copy.

Labor Visa (LA-B2)

Employment Laws for Foreign Nationals in Laos

Employees from other countries are covered by employment law. The Labor Law of 2013 governs all matters with foreign employees working in the business sector or international organizations, embassies, and non-governmental organizations in Lao PDR.

To work in Lao PDR, a foreign worker must meet the following legal requirements:

  • Must be at least twenty years old;
  • Must have the necessary abilities and a professional level for the position;
  • Have a clean criminal record, be in good health, and meet any other requirements considered necessary.

Requirements for a Laos Work Permit by Laos Employers

Listed below are essential prerequisites when applying for a Laos work permit:

  • Your company must be registered in Laos.
  • You should provide the job letter to the employee you want to hire.
  • The work permit also states the nature of the job and the responsibilities. Therefore, accurate information is needed.
  • The employee should hold a valid passport.
  • The person will require an investment license if traveling to invest in a business registered in Laos.

Some documents that are a must while applying for a work permit in Laos are:

  • A valid passport which is valid for at least six months from departure
  • Other travel documents
  • Duly signed and filled visa application form
  • Tickets for a round trip in case of a short trip
  • Two recent passport size color photographs
  • A proof of fund that will substantiate your purchasing capacity in Laos
  • Company’s appointment letter or a cover letter printed on the company’s letterhead that has employed the person.
  • Bank statements for the last three months

Laos Work Permit Application Process

The application process for a Laos work permit is straightforward. Follow the steps listed below to apply for a Laos work visa:

  • Decide if you want to apply on paper or online. 
  • If you decide to apply on paper, you need to visit the local embassy of the employee’s country and get a paper form.
  • For online applications, you can reach out to any third-party companies that provide these services. They will complete all the formalities on behalf of the employees.
  • On every passport, you can only apply for one visa.
  • The applicant must be present in the visa application center if you have opted in for an offline process.
  • The name and other details should match with the documents presented as proof.
  • Carrying the appointment letter is mandatory during the Laos work visa process. 
  • If the employee cannot visit the embassy for his application, he can reschedule his appointment twice. No further rescheduling is allowed.
  • The work permit Laos cost lies in the range of $5 to $150. The cost will depend on the country in which the employee resides.

Timeframe for Work Permit Application

The timeframe for all kinds of work and other visas is different. However, listed below are some crucial timeframes you should consider while applying for a Laos work permit.

Type of Visa Number of Days
Transit Visas <7 days when applied online,

Four weeks when applied manually

Tourist Visas <7 working days when applied online,

>5 weeks when applied manually

Labour Visas Seven days – 5 weeks
Work permits 1-7 days

How Does Multiplier Help with Work Permit?

We have local entities in over 150+ countries as a worldwide EOR solution, allowing firms like yours to hire and employ employees from all over the world. In addition, our in-house professionals have enhanced this portfolio of HR products, allowing us to provide end-to-end solutions to our consumers.

You can seek a Laos work permit via our SaaS-based solution, and our in-house professionals will handle the entire procedure, including the processing time, expenses, and paperwork checklist, as well as keep you updated throughout the process.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Expert Visa (E-B2): For foreign professionals employed in international and non-government organizations.
  • Investor Visa (NI-B2): For foreign nationals interested in investing in registered companies in Laos. This includes multi-entry visas for 3 months to 1 year.
  • Labor Visa (LA-B2): For individuals on fixed-term employment contracts

Key requirements include:

  • The company must be registered in Laos.
  • A job letter detailing the nature and responsibilities of the job.
  • A valid passport.
  • An investment license for those traveling to invest in a business.
  • Additional documents such as a visa application form, round-trip tickets (for short trips), recent passport-size photographs, proof of funds, and bank statements​

Processing times vary depending on the type of visa:

  • Transit Visas: <7 days online, up to 4 weeks manually.
  • Tourist Visas: <7 working days online, up to 5 weeks manually.
  • Labor Visas: 7 days to 5 weeks.
  • Work Permits: 1 to 7 days​

No, a work visa must be obtained beforehand. On-arrival visas are typically only valid for short durations and are not applicable for work purposes​

The cost of a Laos work permit ranges from $5 to $150, depending on the applicant’s country of residence and the type of visa being applied for​

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