World news story

UK Visa Service Launches in Lao PDR

A mobile UK visa application service will start in Lao PDR in September which will mean that residents of Lao PDR will no longer need to travel to Bangkok to make a UK visa application.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Ambassador Philip Malone announces the new visa service at a press conference Friday.
Ambassador Philip Malone announces the new visa service at a press conference Friday.

The British Ambassador to Lao PDR, Philip Malone, announced today that the new mobile visa clinic will be available approximately every 3 months at the British Embassy in Vientiane, the first to be held on September 26.

Ambassador Malone said:

We are pleased to be able to introduce this service to residents of Lao PDR. The new service reflects the importance we place on strengthening the relationships we have with the Lao people and our desire to see more people from Lao PDR visit, do business, invest and study in the UK, for the benefit of both our countries. It also underscores our commitment to continually improve the visa service we offer our customers by providing them with products and services that better meet their needs.

Customers applying for a UK visa previously had to travel to Bangkok to provide their biometric data (fingerprints and digital photograph) and submit their documents.

Now Lao customers can make an appointment to attend one of the mobile visa clinics at the British Embassy in Vientiane to complete the application process. Applications are then sent to the visa processing hub in Bangkok to be assessed by UK Visas and Immigration staff.

UK Visas and Immigration aim to process non-settlement visa applications within 15 working days and settlement applications within 12 weeks.

Customers using the service will have to pay a fee of £75 in addition to the visa application fee. This includes the cost of sending the application by courier to Bangkok and returning it to their nominated address in Laos once processed. This is a more convenient and less expensive option to travelling to Bangkok to make an application, although customers who wish to make an application in Bangkok , without paying an additional charge, can still do so.

The new service will be run by UK Visas and Immigration’s commercial partner in South East Asia, VFS Global. Those wanting to take advantage of the service should first complete an online application form, and then pay for the service online via the VFS payment portal using Mastercard or Visa card before making an appointment by emailing VFS Global on laombc.uk@vfshelpline.com

Customers can apply for a visa to travel to the UK up to 3 months in advance.

Further information about the mobile visa clinics in Vientiane and how to apply for a UK visa can be found on the Thai pages of the UK Visas and Immigration website

Published 9 September 2013