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simon43

Laos - long-stay visa (volunteer, not married, not working)

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I'm exploring all options in south-east Asia, because my confidence in the Thai government/immigration not to 'shaft' me on visa issues has reached an all-time low 🙂

 

I used to work in Laos - for a short time I was the headmaster of a school in Luang Prabang.  I had a business visa and work permit, all kindly provided by my employer.

 

But what to do if I want to live in Laos and I'm not working, nor married to a Lao citizen?  

 

i know from visits to Lao Immigration in Vientiane about 10 years ago that they offered (under the table) a business visa and work permit, even though I wasn't working 🙂

 

I have a regular monthly overseas income of about $2,000, but no savings.  I spend my time mainly doing voluntary work, teaching and managing a small educational charity that donates school text-books to needy students.

 

For forum members who live long-term in Laos, do you know of a viable solution to the visa problem? ==> a visa solution that perhaps isn't 100% legal, but is fully accepted by Lao Immigration 🙂

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I thought that you had a Thai Elite visa ?

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@brokenbone - I'm British.  I have been living in Thailand since about 2002, with the past few years working (teaching at an international school) in Burma.

 

I have the easy option to return to work in Burma again - no problem there.  But I also want to explore other options in neighbouring countries, (Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia I already know about - Laos is a favourite choice because I previously worked there and enjoyed my time there).

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On 3/3/2019 at 4:47 PM, simon43 said:

@brokenbone - I'm British.  I have been living in Thailand since about 2002, with the past few years working (teaching at an international school) in Burma.

 

I have the easy option to return to work in Burma again - no problem there.  But I also want to explore other options in neighbouring countries, (Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia I already know about - Laos is a favourite choice because I previously worked there and enjoyed my time there).

I'm afraid I can't answer your question, but I'm interested in this topic.  I am married to a Lao but we live in Thailand with a young son. We married in the UK, so our marriage is not recognised by the Lao authorities (I believe). How easy was it for you to get a teaching job in Laos?  I've been teaching (mainly IELTS and EAP) in Thailand for 14 years, and life would be considerably easier and cheaper if I could work in Laos and move my family back there. Are teaching positions in Laos advertised, or are they usually filled locally or by word of mouth?

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I've got a friend who runs a guest house in Vang Vieng. He's married to a Lao, but some friends of his who stay there told me that they just pay money every year for a visa to stay there. Business visas, but nobody cares whether you actually invest in and run a business. They cost around $300 if I remember correctly, and are done through agents. 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

 


Are teaching positions in Laos advertised, or are they usually filled locally or by word of mouth?
 

 

 

They are advertised, such as on ESLcafe.  A couple of schools in Vientiane are 'real' international schools and you need to be a licensed teacher in your home country.  Other schools are international in name only - they follow both the Lao and IGCSE curriculum, but you don't have to be a licensed teacher in your home country.

 

Without giving too much away, why don't you teach 'online' from Laos.  You will be able to earn typically between $2-$3,000 per month.

 

@dbrenn, that's the same price that I was quoted by Vientiane Immigration about 10 years ago! 🙂

Edited by simon43
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19 minutes ago, simon43 said:

@dbrenn, that's the same price that I was quoted by Vientiane Immigration about 10 years ago! 🙂

Laos is a lovely place - very laid back and reminds me of Thailand in the early days. I wouldn't mind living there myself, and may well do on my next move. 

 

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24 minutes ago, dbrenn said:

Laos is a lovely place - very laid back and reminds me of Thailand in the early days. I wouldn't mind living there myself, and may well do on my next move. 

 

You reckon Thai PP holders could essentially visa run there?

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4 minutes ago, samran said:

You reckon Thai PP holders could essentially visa run there?

That would work, but I'm getting too old for Visa running. Last time for me was boozy train rides to Penang in the early 90's 😊

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18 minutes ago, dbrenn said:

That would work, but I'm getting too old for Visa running. Last time for me was boozy train rides to Penang in the early 90's 😊

I like Vientiane. A trip across the bridge to Udon for a Tesco Lotus run would make it all work out.

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7 minutes ago, samran said:

I like Vientiane. A trip across the bridge to Udon for a Tesco Lotus run would make it all work out.

Vientiane is a nice place, and would be the best place in Laos to do Visa runs from, being right next to the bridge.

 

You'd also have to cross the bridge if you got sick, mind you. My friend in Vang Vieng had a heart attack there and survived a six hour trip to Udon to get fixed up.

 

That was a few years back, and health care would be improving in Laos, but Thailand is far better of course. 

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How can you obtain a elite visa in Thailand without any saving and only  2 k monthly in pension ????? 

But lao is very beautiful especially Vang vieng where I stay now after Thailand kick me out because they say no money and that's is a lie 

I have saving and pension but OK with me I was super tried of Thailand anyway 

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13 hours ago, Henrik Andersen said:

How can you obtain a elite visa in Thailand without any saving and only  2 k monthly in pension ????? 

The Elite visa doesn't need any monthly income, only 500,000 baht for a 5 year visa.  At the time, (5 years ago), I had a spare 500,000 baht in savings, so went for the visa.  Now I can see better visa alternatives in other countries (Laos).

 

BTW, my monthly income is actually about 100,000 baht.  I lead a simple life, spending perhaps 30,000 baht per month in total, including 5-star medical insurance.  So I can save perhaps 60-70,000 baht each month.  Saving up 500,000 baht takes less than a year 🙂

 

Having finally relocated back to Luang Prabang, I find that living costs are lower than others have warned.  I'm paying 1 baht to buy a banana, 500 grams of fresh tomatoes for 17 baht. fresh evening meal (all you can eat) for under 70 baht.  My daily expenses for food and drink are running at less than 200 baht a day 🙂

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