Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've read online that one of the requirements for getting the visa-on-arrival when entering Laos at a border crossing is that you must have a passport photo.

But what happens if you are unaware of this rule, forget to obtain one, or try to get one without success before making it to the border?

  • Will you be sent back? As you've already been stamped out of the other country, can this cause problems?
  • Do they have a camera there for such emergencies and charge a nominal extra fee?
  • Do they take advantage of your predicament and use it as a chance to elicit a bribe or at least an official but ludicrously overpriced fee?
share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

According to laos-guide-999.com:

If you don't have photos you will be asked to pay a small fee (few dollars) for scanning your photograph from your passport, and placing it onto your visa application form.

Another opinion from wikitravel:

passport photo is/may be required (although you may be able to pay a US$1 "fee" to have this requirement waived) - recently (June 2013) passport photos were not asked for (at Friendship Bridge).

share|improve this answer
2  
I have the feeling some people see the extra $1 as the missing photo fee because it's not explained but in fact you get a little receipt for $1 which seems to be a "Friendship Bridge I Foreign Passenger" fee. Of course some people may have paid two separate $1 fees ... –  hippietrail Sep 5 '13 at 4:23
add comment

When I got off the bus that takes you across the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, I was the only person who needed a visa-on-arrival so I thought it would be quick. But I arrived during the "dinner break" of the people doing that job and had to wait around for twenty minutes!

Only when the guy eventually appeared could I get the entry forms, which took some more time to fill out. But the guy was cheerful and his English was good. I told him I didn't have the photo mentioned on the form and he said:

No problem!

I also left some fields blank on the form such as previous and next destination, which are fuzzy or unknown since I'm hitchhiking without a plan and because I didn't know where I'd been staying and there fields for address and phone number where you're staying, and also of a Lao contact.

This was also no problem.

I was concerned "no problem" might mean some unofficial charge was coming up. They did not have a camera and did not take my photo (unless they took it from a security camera), and there is no photo on the visa itself.

The charges were only:

  • The $30 USD visa fee
    (Australian citizen price, other nationalities may have other prices)
  • Another $1 USD fee
    Some websites, as referenced in HaLaBi's answer talk about a $1 fee when you don't have a passport photo. I believe they're confused as the receipt for this $1 fee clearly states "Friendship Bridge I (FOR FOREIGN PASSENGER)":

Friendship Bridge receipt

The fees should be paid in USD. If you pay in Thai Baht you will be required to pay 40 baht per dollar. For comparison, the actual exchange rate today is 32.25 Baht per dollar. I didn't bring any $1 bills so paid only the bridge fee in baht.

Some other people may have paid a photo fee but I doubt it. Some nationalities might need the photo, but as an Australian it was no problem and there were no fees or bribes.

share|improve this answer
    
Fee is the same for most countries except Canada. // Accept your answer? –  hunter2 Sep 19 '13 at 7:18
    
Well HaLaBi's answer got it through his research and everybody voted for it, mine just fleshed it out with my particular story. I think I'll reward him. –  hippietrail Sep 19 '13 at 8:20
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.