Chinese Visa in Vientiane, Laos

Chinese Visa Ventiane Laos

How to get a Visa for China in Vientiane, the capital of Laos (Lao republic), and cross overland into Yunnan. Without fly tickets or hotel booking (at least real ones)

When it comes to Chinese visa this usually means “headache”, especially for those traveling overland. Anyway this time it was easier than expected, and it seems to us that Vientiane could be a perfect place to arrange your tourist visa (or also other kinds of visa) for the People Republic of China.

We obtained the Chinese visa in Laos in 2016, the information contained in this article may not be valid at this time.

As usual, the requirements are:

  • the annoying proof of flight in and out of China
  • the stupid Hotel Booking
  • the usual Application Form (to be collected and filled at the embassy)
  • one passport size picture (on white background, ears visible)

The requirement include also a print of the bank statement, since this was a problem for us we simply didn’t show it and were asked nothing. So if your statement clearly shows that you are poor simply ignore it and you should be fine.

The Chinese embassy is located in the south part of town, not really walking distance if you’re staying in the city center, cycling there though is very straight forward, these are the coordinates:

Chinese Embassy in Vientiane, Laos
N 17 56’20.7″
E 102 37’17.4″

Opening ours of the consular section are from 9 AM to 11:30 AM, be warned to check about Chinese holidays, those can make you stuck in Vientiane for  two weeks or even more. The long Chinese holiday are usually in the beginning of October but there are other festivities all year round so check on google.

The fee is 32USD for a 4 working days processing, 52USD if you want it in two days and 62USD to get it on the spot. The fee must be paid at the ICBC bank, quite far away from the embassy (they charge a 2USD service fee).

The receipt of payment must be shown at the time of collecting the visa, so you could call the embassy before making the payment, in order to be sure everything is fine, you don’t want to waste your money if for some reason they refuse you the Visa (everything can happen in Chinese embassies). Down below the coordinates of the bank.ICBC bank, Vientiane branch
N 17 58’49.0″
E 102 37’25.9″

The very good thing about this embassy is that is not busy at all, compared for example to the one in Bangkok. There was basically no cue at all when we went and both the application and collection was done in just a couple of minutes.

It could be that if you’re reading this post you plan to get to China overland, so you would have no fly tickets, and more likely you’re not interested in booking accommodations.
While you could do the trick on your own, booking and then canceling through or similar services for the hotels and make a fake fly ticket using photoshop or a pdf editor to modify an old flight confirmation file, there is an agency downtown that can spare you the hassle. For a fee of 5USD per person, they can make your flight and hotel reservation and then cancel it after you get the visa. It’s located here:

Agency to help you with Chinese Visa application in Vientiane
N 17 58’11.4″
E 102 36’15.3″

Anyway, they are not allowed to go to the embassy for you, you must go in person. If the youngsters are around, just ask for the boss, he’s the only one who knows the matter. He booked for us just 3 days in a hostel in Kunming and it made the job.

If you want to do it on your own be sure to make a fake for a flight that really exists, there are a lot of articles about faking a ticket on the web, follow the instructions. Anyway, we chose to rely on the agency, the ticket is real until you cancel it and it’s safer, we already been arrested in China once and we don’t want to experience this again.

Like all the single entry tourist visa for China you have three months time span to enter the country and are allowed to stay 30 days, it’s possible to extend the stay once for another 30 days, the process can be simple or complicated depending where you are, as a general rule small cities are more friendly than the big ones (don’t extend in Beijing of Shanghai if you can avoid, for example). This embassy also issues double entry visas and triple entry visas, but we don’t know much about that. What I can tell is that this allows you to stay in china for 30 days on one entry, than you have to leave the country and enter again, so you can stay for 30 days more. This probably can also be extended once but I have no reliable infos about this.The information in this articles are from September 2016, things can change quickly so double check. Hope this helps, let us know your experience in the comments and follow us on the social networks if you want to show your support.

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  1. Hi ! Thank you for all this information !
    Update on March 14th, I easily got my Visa (one entry, valid 3 months for 30 days stay) in express for 52$ with a French passport. I have bring paperwork on 13th and get it back on 14th.
    There is a bus from the central bus station that take you there is 10/15 minutes (either 32, but I didn’t found it, either 103 – small van, going to Donpamai). Check on where you are and ask the driver to stop when you reach the street of the embassy (there is a fruit market on the other side, you can take the bus back from here).

    1. PS : paperwork was :
      – the form you can downland on the chineese embassy general website (same for all country you apply from)
      – copy of flight in and out
      – copy of booking reservation for the all stay cancellable
      – copy of passeport + current Lao visa + old chineese visa I had
      – copy of bank account with good amount
      – copy of insurance

    2. Hi Edith! Thanks a lot for your contribution!
      Especially the bus directions are very useful!
      I would like to point out that there’s rally no need for insurance and bank account, at least when we did it. Booking of one week is fine too.
      Anyway the more paper you have the better it is.

  2. Hii! I’ve planed to go to vientiane to run the chinese visa next month. From wher did you get the info of the fake flights agency? Just to have extra options in case the location of this post is not working any more. Thankyou!!

    1. Hi Eli! We found that place somewhere on the internet, some trip advisor comment maybe. It worked for us. In case that information happens to be outdated, just ask any other agency you find, or do it yourself, there are plenty of posts on how to book a flight and then cancel it, just try to search on google.

  3. Hi!
    I just stumbled on your blog because I was looking for confirmation that you don’t need a working permit in Laos to apply for the visa. You see, this is the 2nd time I attempt to get one. The first time was in Mandalay, Myanmar a week ago. There was something in my passport they didn’t like but I couldn’t tell what. They told me the express service wasn’t for foreigners and that it could take up to 15 days. The regular service for locals is 4 days and my flight was 3 days later so they refused to take my application. After a moment, the woman at the counter even switched off the microphone in front of me and smiled. I felt like it was just an excuse so I wouldn’t get my visa.
    So I tried my luck again this morning in Vientiane. I went to the embassy 15 minutes before it opened (9am). There were already a dozen people waiting in front. Lots of students trying to get a visa to study in China. Anyway, I had all my documents ready and rapidly got to a counter. The guy looked at my documents a few moments, then browsed 2 times through all the passport pages. Then he said I needed a working permit for Laos and that I couldn’t apply. If that were true, I’m pretty sure he would have asked me if I had a working permit instead of just saying no. So I’m guessing one of the stamps in my passport is not to their liking, and I suppose it is Vietnam. I am Swiss by the way, with vietnamese origins (but no viet passport).

  4. Hi Robin,
    We had the same situation this morning, on the 19th of August. At the desk they said that the rules change (work permit necessary) about two month ago.
    Did you find a solution to get the chinese visa? Luang prabang or Hanoi?
    Thanks for you answers.

  5. The rules is different now ( November 2019 ) , no tourist visa Chinese for non resident . To apply for a Chinese tourist visa in the Chinese Embassy in Vientiane need to be a resident in Laos. So I think the appropriate to delete this post because mislead people who intent to apply.

    1. Thanks so much Arafat. Lots of trouble saved (real pity however :-(, might have to give up on Yunnan / Sichian altogether in this case)

  6. Have anyone tried to apply for Chinese visa in Vientiane this year (that is, post-COVID)?
    I’ve got Chinese visa twice in Chiang Mai, Thailand (December 2017 and May 2019) with no issues, had real entry and exit (from another city and to another country) flight tickets though, but maybe even they didn’t need the hotel bookings, or maybe the one in the first city was ok. But this time I’ve been for too long time in Thailand to re-enter it visa-free easily (and I have to leave on 18th just after Songkran), and anyway, as my idea is to take the new Vientiane-Kunming train, it’s more logical to apply for the visa in Vientiane… if the rules have changed again and they give tourist visas to non-residents there now, that is.

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