Laos Adjusts Passport Issuance Fees, Service Charges in USD, Collected in Lao Kip

Lao Residents Vent Frustrations Over Passport Application Process

The Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos has issued a notice regarding the adjustment of fees and service charges for passport issuance, effective on 4 March, to simplify passport procedures and ensure the sustainability of service provision.

According to the revised ordinance, issuance of electronic passports will be priced at USD 60 per book, while non-electric passports will cost USD 40 per book. Despite being set in a foreign currency, fees will be collected in the local currency, based on the exchange rate determined by the Ministry of Finance.

The notice regarding fee adjustments in USD currency emphasizes the need to secure sufficient funding for passport operations, covering expenses such as payments, procurement of IT equipment, and maintenance of technical systems sourced from foreign countries.

Furthermore, the amendment will also introduce an express passport service with three processing options: 1-day, 3-day, and 5-day, priced at LAK 1 million, LAK 500,000, and LAK 300,000 per book. This expedited service is designed to assist individuals in need of passports before the stipulated 10-day period as per the Passport Law.

“The [express passport] service aims to address the ongoing issue of illegal express passports by implementing a systematic, orderly, transparent, and verifiable process,” the notice states. “It also aims to generate extra income for the state budget.”

The Consular Department urges all sectors, including residents, employees, and officials from various fields, to familiarize themselves with the revised fees and services.

Additionally, the adjustment aims to tackle residents’ concerns, particularly regarding long waiting times faced by residents, as many have recently expressed frustration with the passport acquisition process, citing long waits, system errors, and appointment favoritism.