The government of Laos will soon allow Lao people living overseas to visit and stay in the country for an extended period of up to 9 months on a single entry visa, to enjoy property ownership rights, and to marry Lao citizens.
Mr. Phonekham Inthabualy, head of the Overseas Lao Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, affirms the completion of a policy draft on measures to strengthen cooperation between the Lao government and overseas Laotians in the development of Laos, adding that he believes the Lao cabinet will formally approve the draft in the near future.
A key provision of the new policy, which many people believe will attract an increasing number of Lao expatriates to go back in the future, is the extension of the length of stay under a tourist visa beyond the current 30 days to 9 months. The extension will not only eliminate any worry those tourists might have about overstaying their visa, but will also provide them ample time to decide whether to invest or do business in Laos.
Also included in the new policy are provisions to accommodate other needs of Lao expatriates who return home, such as granting the rights to use and own land, buildings, and other types of properties to those who invest more than US$ 300,000 in Laos.
The government will also make it especially easier for native Laotians from abroad to marry Lao
In December 2009, Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh received, at his new office, a group of Lao expatriates from the U.S., Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, Canada, Australia and Japan, who traveled to Vientiane to attend the 25th SEA Games that took place December 9-18, 2009.
During the meeting, Mr. Bouasone emphasized that the Lao government does not consider past conflicts to be the basis of rules for development for a better future of the country; instead, his government wants to see all Lao people, both inside and outside of Laos, join hands and contribute their knowledge and utmost ability to develop the motherland.
For more details in Lao, listen to our audio files at top right.