Government of Laos Responds to US Visa Restrictions


The Government of Laos has issued a response to the recent visa restrictions placed upon a number of citizens of Laos, which has caused confusion among Lao communities.

The Trump administration has ordered suspension of the issuance of visas to certain citizens of Laos after the country refused to take back its persons deported from the United States.

The Government of Laos made the following response on its Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:

Vientiane, July 10, 2018

In reply to the U.S. Embassy Verbal Note No. 18-720/CONS, dated 9 July 2018, on the above-captioned sanctions the Lao PDR Government expresses its profound disappointment and regret over the visa sanctions unilaterally imposed by the US Government against Laos for the so-called “lack of adequate cooperation from the Lao side in documenting and facilitating the return home of those claimed to be Lao nationals who have exhausted their legal remedies and have no right to remain in the United States”. This unfounded and unfair act by the US Government is not only unacceptable and counterproductive, but may bring about negative impact on the positive and growing Laos-US cooperative relationship as well.

The undeniable truth is that despite myriad difficulties and constraints facing it, the Lao Government has attached importance to and extended its fullest possible cooperation in responding to the US Government’s request by ways and means mutually agreed upon and on the basis of the relevant national laws and regulations of the Lao PDR as well as in accordance with its specific conditions and capacity. In doing so, the Lao Government has established an Ad-hoc Committee chaired by Deputy Minister of Public Security to be directly responsible for cooperation with the US side in addressing the repatriation issue. To date, a series of bilateral consultations at different levels have been conducted to discuss the matter related to repatriation. Ten video-conference interviews with persons subject to deportation were made by the Lao authority concerned. As a result of this joint effort, three cases have been accepted by Laos of which two have already been repatriated to Laos, and there are now 9 cases under consideration and subject to interview which is scheduled to be held on 27 July 2018.

In view of the above, the unreasonable sanctions imposed by the US Government would not be helpful for making Laos-US cooperative relationship advance toward a new step or a higher plane in the future. Conversely, it could possibly undermine the existing good bilateral cooperation between the Lao PDR and the United States in other fields. For this reason, the US Government is urged to consider removing this measure against Laos as soon as possible for the common benefits of the two countries and the peoples.

The Lao PDR Government, which consistently adheres to its policy of consolidating and promoting the friendly relations and fruitful cooperation with the US, stands ready to continue to work with the US Government toward the shared goals, including this issue of the latter’s concern. At the same time, the Lao Government hopes that a positive and constructive gesture would be shown by the US Government as regards its unilateral action on this matter.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR


  1. I understand that Laos wants to keep a cooperative and friendly relations with the US but I feel it’s just another way of the US bullying other countries. It is unfair to those who have to be deported (especially if they left Laos since at a young age). Just how the US wants their treaties with other countries to be upheld then they should uphold the original agreement with Laos. For so many decades the US have ignored the wrong doings to Laos? Stand your ground Laos. Don’t let other countries come in and ruin our natural country!

    • This is a strong arm bully tactic by the US Government, however when your still a 3rd world dependent nation there is not much you can do against a global superpower. This is what happen to Cambodia and how they ended up taking back people.I just hope if the Lao government does end up taking people back there is infrastructure to help people assimilate back into Lao society.

  2. I know of Hmong people that have helped the United States C.I.A./U.S. government during the Vietnam war. Their family members that relocated to the U.S. Some family members later on down the road that have committed crimes of certain sorts. Will they be sent back too now that Trump’s administration is taking this immigration act to a whole new level?
    The Lao and Hmong never had good ties due to the the Hmong people not being indigenous to the Laotian land. How would that even work out? Also… how about those that were born in Thailand’s refugee camps during the Vietnam war? Where they be sent back to? Seems to me they are stuck in limbo. Is there any end to this? And before anyone comments on my comment… please do some research on the Hmong people before stating any nonsense remarks.

    • Im white, but my parent in laws are Mien and live in Oakland, I swore to keep them safe, they are US Citizens now but with the way this administration is going I am worried for them and the rest of the family so retained a high power lawyer JUST TO BE SAFE. THey have every right to be here in the US and I will protect them. Everyone from all communities has the right to be here they entered legally and with blessings of the government and have done a lot for this country. I for one will not abandon this community.

  3. We the people that came from Laos. How we came to the United States was a long ago because of the war. Our parents, uncles, brothers, and relatives served the United soldiers during the war and put their lives on the line for the United States. And the war was not out war but when needed help, we helped. Then we the United States Qute and left our people got bombs an killed. With that guilt feelings, the United States brought us. The people that done wrong, yes they deserved to get send back but those whom done no wrong deserve to live here and have as much right to be free as anyone else. This is opinions.

  4. This means that the Trump Administration is really working hard to clean up the US, sending illegal immigrants and people with criminal back to their homelands, issued travel ban to certain countries, and more. This is one of his platform! Due to greedy for money, soon or later and for sure, the country of Laos will accept back of those criminals from the US. Laos is in hardship without US’s support. In the other hand, lives of these individuals especially those who have families, will be in crisis. Criminals who are deported from the US are likely will not survive because Lao Government has long been in corruption, human rights issues, prosecution, etc. Hope there is no deal soon.

  5. who you think destroy the dam on laos the same government that put a sanction on laos now they want to help loas fixing the same dam they destroy so they can used this against laos to refused to take people back dont let them fool you think about it corrupt

  6. I fear for my parent in laws and have moved to get them legal representation as they are now US Citizens but with the way the Trump administration is moving I fear for them and have to protect them as they have every right to be in the United States. Trump needs to stop being a bully, stop throwing temper tantrums every time he doesn’t get his way. He is an idiot